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Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess wants Scottish Government consultation on the Knocknagael Green Hub proposal for the Holm Mains area of Inverness


By Alasdair Fraser


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Ariane Burgess MSP - Green
Ariane Burgess MSP - Green

A Highland MSP is urging the Scottish Government to consult with the community over a grassroots project to secure a community green space within a growing part of Inverness.

Knocknagael Ltd, a community not-for-profit organisation and registered charity, is seeking to create the Knocknagael Green Hub for local people in the Holm Mills area.

Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess is concerned at Highland Council plans to change the designated land use in some areas of the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan in response to housing pressures.

On Thursday last week, she pressed the Knocknagael Green Hub Project project’s case in parliament.

The charity is in the process of securing an asset transfer request for the Smiddy Field in that area of Inverness.

The organisation wants to convert the site into allotments, an orchard and community-supported agriculture, with space for walking and wildlife.

Supporters say it would contribute to local food security, well-being and community empowerment.

Knocknagael Ltd (from left): Steve Rowan, director; Maria de la Torre, chairwoman; and Ronald MacVicar, director. Picture: John Davidson
Knocknagael Ltd (from left): Steve Rowan, director; Maria de la Torre, chairwoman; and Ronald MacVicar, director. Picture: John Davidson

In a parliamentary question, the MSP asked the Scottish Government how they will ensure communities are supported to develop projects like Knocknagael.

She said: “Knocknagael’s plans to develop the Smiddy Field site into a community green hub are exactly what Inverness needs as volume housebuilders put pressure on the Highland Council and the Scottish Government to free up more land to expand the urban sprawl.

“If we are to meet our targets for net zero by 2045, these projects must be supported at a local and national level.

“I am heartened to hear that the Scottish Government is committed to continuous consultation with the community on this project and I hope the Highland Council will reconsider their plans to change the land use in the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan.”


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