Skye group will be the first to acquire land under new asset transfer scheme
Minginish Community Hall Association applied to purchase land close to the Fairy Pools
Fairy Pools: Picture credit - Kris Williams/Flickr
An organisation in Skye will become the first to acquire land under a new scheme to transfer publicly-owned forestry assets to benefit local communities.
Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) launched the community asset transfer scheme earlier this year.
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Minginish Community Hall Association (MCHA) applied to purchase land close to the Fairy Pools, an increasingly popular tourist site.
FES has agreed to transfer the land for £2,500, a discount of £27,500 on the market value, because of the substantial public benefit that will be delivered.
MCHA intend to expand car parking facilities, alleviating long-term concerns for tourists and residents, as well as installing new visitor facilities.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I am delighted Forest Enterprise Scotland have agreed to the sale of this land, which will help the local community respond to the pressures and opportunities that comes with having a world-class attraction like the Fairy Pools on your doorstep.
“We recognise the recent surge in interest seen by some of our tourism sites, particularly in rural locations. That is why we recently announced a new £6 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
“Alongside the Skye strategic group, the Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to support sustainable growth in tourism, working in partnership with local communities – in Skye, throughout the Highlands & Islands and across Scotland.”
Julie Burnett, a Director of MCHA, said the association is delighted at the success of the transfer request.
“This is a key milestone in the project to provide improved parking facilities close to the Fairy Pools,” she added.
“The community benefit of the land transfer and the overall project cannot be overstated. Both residents living in Glen Brittle and future visitors to the Fairy Pools will benefit from the proposal to expand and improve the existing small car park.”
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The planning system is hugely important and it's time it was given the respect and attention it deserves