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Massive 400 home scheme planned for Milton of Leys triggers huge developer contributions

By Scott Maclennan

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Hundreds of new homes planned for Milton of Leys are set to get the nod from Highland Council.
Hundreds of new homes planned for Milton of Leys are set to get the nod from Highland Council.

Plans for 400 homes at Milton of Leys by developers Hazledene and the Highland Housing Alliance looks set to get the nod by Highland Council officials who have “accepted the principle of development at the location.”

The project will extend Inverness further south and is earmarked for an area near the A9 interchange. The site’s northern boundary is Milton of Leys Road, its western edge is Monarch Road, to the east is the A9 and the south agricultural land.

The planning in principle application means that only outline plans are available which are subject to change when the proposals are finalised but what is clear is that it will be a mixed-use neighbourhood of 400 residential units, 200 of them for “affordable tenure” business or commercial units.

The impact of 400 homes is underlined by the £4.3 million in developer contributions needed for schools, community infrastructure and even new bus routes.

The pressures on schools in the catchment area means the developer contributions are sizeable. All housing developments within the Millburn Academy catchment must contribute to major extension or new school rates £3482 per house and £1875 per flat. For Milton of Leys Primary School charged at the two classroom extension rate is £2,041 per house and £1,157 per flat.

The applicants have agreed to pay £396,000 contribution to improve public transport to the proposed development to cover the start-up costs of two new routes to serve Milton of Leys.

Community facilities come in at a flat rate of £1019 per property while given the size of the site and prominence on elevated land the development should also incorporate public art on its “public frontage”.

Council planning officer Mark Fitzpatrick concluded that: “The council has accepted the principle of development at the location given the allocation in the extant IMFLDP for business use, which the application includes along with community uses, and which has already been approved for planning permission in principle under a separate application.

“Those components are considered to contribute to the autonomy and amenity of the wider Milton of Leys community by diversifying land uses and providing additional facilities and services. Consequently, that aspect of the proposal is considered to contribute to local living and a 20 minute neighbourhood.”

He added: “While it is acknowledged that the proposal will result in offsite impacts on the local road network, the development site represents the last major allocation within the Inshes and Milton of Leys areas and provides opportunity to improve services and infrastructure for current residents and new.”

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