Kate Forbes MSP has described the asking price of nearly £100k for a small plot of land on the North Coast 500 as “utterly ridiculous” given the “plentiful land” which the Highlands boasts.
The 0.061 acre land at Cuaig near Applecross, which has detailed planning permission for a three-bedroom house, has recently gone on the market for offers over £95,000.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch – whose grandmother is from Fearnbeg, a few miles north of Cuaig – said that the previous generation would never have been able to afford such a price, nor indeed can the present.
Ms Forbes has now called for a radical rethink on how the Highlands can rebalance the lack of affordable housing in the region.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “This is utterly ridiculous. On one hand, I welcome the additional interest in the west coast but on the other hand, there won’t be anybody left to actually work in tourism if they’ve got nowhere to live.
“My family come from a village just up from Cuaig, and I spent a lot of time in my grandmother’s croft house long before it was an award-winning destination. That generation wouldn’t have been able to afford anywhere to live at these prices.
“People have been driven out of these areas for centuries – by landlords, by Government neglect and by hardship.
“Now, it’s a lack of affordable housing, despite land being plentiful.
“Something radical is required, to rebalance housing. The Highlands is not a museum, or an amusement park.”