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Housing on Arran, particularly affordable housing, is a perennial issue that has needed to be addressed decades ago. Unfortunately for developers and potential occupants, housing on Arran is hampered by a cost penalty with estimates suggesting at least 20 per cent over the norm owing to island logistics.
The lack of housing, besides the many social implications, is directly linked with the economy of Arran as any business owner or parent will knowingly tell you. Struggling to secure a full compliment of staff has seen many a business severely restricted or even shutting their doors altogether. Arran’s enterprising youth leave it’s shores to pursue careers where they can afford to start a life and climb onto the property ladder.
So, while the provision of 34 new homes on Arran is welcomed, especially after a dearth of 30 years, we must take heed that this is just a drop in the ocean – with a survey two years ago identifying the immediate need for more than 200 affordable houses. That number has increased exponentially since then.
We should also be aware, that in our eagerness to fulfil this need, we don’t embrace what is offered without consideration. Arran needs houses, but it also needs access roads, we already have developments with numerous houses and a single road access which leads to bottlenecks and frustration. Let’s get it right this time around.