The Scottish Crofting Federation has voiced its concern that the Scottish Government’s planning system is undermining crofting law after the Government said it would not intervene in the case of a Wester Ross woman who is trying to build a house on her croft.
In August, Government planners rejected an appeal by Torridon crofter Elaine Holmes against Highland Council’s decision to refuse a planning application for a small single-storey house on her croft at Fasag at the head of Loch Torridon. There is no house on the croft at present. Ms Holmes, who is a mother of three, is currently unable to stay in Torridon and lives nearly ten miles away from her croft.
After Government planners rejected the appeal the SCF wrote to the Planning Minister, Derek Mackay, asking him to reconsider the decision. The SCF argued that the planners’ justification for refusing the house on ‘landscape’ grounds went against the advice of the statutory landscape authority, Scottish Natural Heritage. Mr Mackay has now replied to them, saying that he has no intention of taking the matter further.