Affordable rural housing comes under the spotlight as the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and Environment Committee embarks on a fact-finding visit to the Pitlochry area as part of its inquiry into rural housing on Tuesday 6 May.
Committee members are keen to learn first hand about some of the housing issues that people face in rural areas. They also want to find out about successful local initiatives in tackling rural housing problems by looking at examples in different parts of Scotland and will be conducting further fact-finding visits to East Lothian and Arran later in May.
Committee Convener Roseanna Cunningham MSP said –
“This first fact-finding visit is an excellent opportunity for committee members to gain a clearer picture of the complex factors affecting rural housing in Highland Perthshire – such as remoteness, land ownership and local authority services. I am particularly keen to see the situation in Kinloch Rannoch, a relatively remote community where second homes are an issue and to learn more about some of the recent developments that have taken place on the Atholl Estate.
“Together, the three visits will help build up a picture of the range of rural housing issues that arise in different parts of Scotland. This will be an important part of the information-gathering exercise we are undertaking over the coming weeks and months.”
The Committee’s launch event in Aviemore in December 2007 attended by more than 50 stakeholders established a number of key themes for the inquiry. These include the role of the planning system, the availability of land suitable for house-building, infrastructure issues, funding considerations, mechanisms to keep housing affordable and the environmental sustainability of housing.
Committee members attending the Perthshire visit will be:
- Roseanna Cunningham MSP (Convener)
- Jamie Hepburn MSP
- Peter Peacock MSP
- John Scott MSP (Deputy Convener)
The Committee’s next visit will be to East Lothian on 13 May which will include a tour by East Lothian Housing Association looking at existing and redeveloped housing. On 20 May the committee will visit Arran to look at the impact of holiday homes and low wages on the availability of rural housing.