People who live in Sleat or want to live in Sleat are encouraged to take part in a community-led housing survey.

Someone who has a housing need, a young person wanting to move out, an older person requiring different housing options or someone wanting to move to Sleat would all be eligible to take part.

Only one person should complete the survey on behalf of each household.

This survey will not collect e-mail addresses, and the results will be anonymised, all responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The survey can be taken here.

The survey is open to responses until 25 September.

The removal of the some of the scaffolding around Raasay Distillery meant that viewers were treated to a first look at the new distillery.

The barley harvest began yesterday (Friday 25 August). 

In September, an official opening of the Distillery will take place.  

Land at the Old Man of Storr could be purchased by the Staffin Community Trust (SCT), if approval is given from the Highland Council.

SCT will find out within the next fortnight if its bid to buy roadside ground at the Storr will be approved by the Council.

Part of the SCT's plans include building a new off-road car park, public toilets and  interpretation/local business information at the site.

Local residents have voiced concerns about road safety and sanitation at the site for some time as visitor numbers have soared in recent years.

There were 150,000 visitors to the Storr last year. Back in 2005, only 37,000 visitors were recorded.

SCT submitted an Asset Transfer Request (ATR) to the council in March – the first in the Highlands under new Community Empowerment legislation, which became law in January – and will find out if it has been accepted by Wednesday, September 6.

A fee for using the car park would be charged, a proposal which was supported by local residents. Almost 86% of respondents to a major consultation in Staffin supported SCT’s direct involvement at the site.

The council’s planning, development and infrastructure committee agreed in Inverness last November to set aside £400,000 of development funding for car park improvements at the site. In a report to councilors, SCT’s project was described as “exciting” and had “the potential to deliver significantly” on the authority’s priorities.

Committee members heard of the dangers of widespread verge parking for drivers and pedestrians and that the £400,000 would help SCT deliver the development, including urgently needed public toilets. This encouraged SCT to develop its site plan. The local authority has stated it has no intention of providing toilets.

If the ATR is granted, SCT will seek match funding from a variety of sources to deliver the proposed site capital works, which are currently estimated at up to £900,000. Following the SCT community consultation in January 2016, the consultant team carried out an options appraisal on the 82-hectare site, which includes a felled commercial forest and was purchased by the local authority in the mid-1990s. 

SCT is grateful to have received funding from the council’s Eilean a’ Cheò’s Ward Discretionary Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Land Fund for the Storr Project options appraisal and business plan.  It has also received excellent support and guidance from HIE’s community assets team and the Community Ownership Support Service.

Jen Shanks, Staffin Community Council Chairwoman, said it was in full support of the development. “The issue of parking and road safety at the Storr has long been a concern for the people of Staffin,” she said. “A sensitively designed larger main car park would significantly improve the current dangerous situation. Building toilets is vital to ensure one of our most valued tourist attractions remains as such. Furthermore, the inclusion of an information/interpretation shelter at the site, which would entice visitors further north, would be greatly welcomed by the community and provide an economic boost to the area."

 

 

The A832 has reopened after being partially washed away during a flood.

The road was shut between Achnasheen and Gorstan on Friday after "significant flooding" in the Loch Luichart area.

There has also been flood damage on the railway line in the Garve area.

The road reopened at about midday today (Saturday 26 August), though police warned traffic lights were now in place around the affected area.

Skye Mountain Rescue took to Twitter to issue a safety reminder.

They stated: "We would remind those heading to the hills to ensure they are adequately equipped with waterproof clothing and maps. #beprepared."

The warning comes after three incidents in one week for the Skye Mountain Rescue Team.  

On Thursday 24 August, the team rescued two males from Blà Bheinn where they had become stuck on steep terrain in poor weather.

Earlier in the month, they rescued three males, lost in poor weather conditions North-West of Sgurr Dearg.

A missing Edinburgh woman has been found on the Isle of Skye.

Detectives had been searching for 41-year-old Fiona McMaster since she disappeared outside a Marks and Spencers shop almost three weeks ago.

Fiona McMaster was reported missing on Tuesday 8 August.  

On Thursday 24 August, local police stated that the missing woman was thought to have been in Portree at 10:30am.  

On Friday 25 August, it was stated that she had been traced "safe and well" in Portree.  

Inspectors praised the public saying their information helped to trace her down.

Police Scotland advise that the A832 between Gorstan and Achnasheen is likely to remain closed until lunchtime today (Saturday 26 August.)

Heavy rain and flooding caused a portion of the road to be washed away.

Trains are currently unable to run between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh because flooding has damaged the track at Garve.

ScotRail said in a Tweet: "Flooding is above track level and has caused some damage. Roads in area are closed too so we can't operate buses."

Members of the public are requested to avoid the area and travel via Drumnadrochit. 

Glenurquhart Highland Games are also scheduled to take place later today - thus planning extra travel time would be advisable. 

 

 

Four people were rescued at Glendale earlier this week.

Dunvegan and Portree Coastguard Rescue Teams were tasked to assist four people trapped in a campervan in flood water.

The campers were located at the graveyard car park.  

The casualties were rescued prior to the team’s arrival and taken into ambulance care.

Glendale Community Hall also suffered flooding during the heavy rains earlier this week.

The photographs, from the Glendale Community Hall Facebook page, were taken after the water levels had fallen by a foot.

The nearby river was at its highest around 5am on Wednesday 23 August.

A suitcase has been stolen whilst its owner was sight-seeing.

The theft took place at the Skye Bridge at an estimated time of 2pm to 4pm on Wednesday 23 August.

The suitcase is blue/black in colour.

Anyone with any information is to contact 101 PC MacDonald.

 

An additional Calmac ferry sailing has been added for the school term.

The additional return sailing will take place on Fridays transport school pupils at Sconser.

It will departing Raasay at 13:30 and depart Sconser at 14:00.

These sailings will operate on the below dates (during term time only and will not operate when there are no schools open.)

Sailings will be open to all passengers and are not limited to students. 

These sailings will operate for the remainder of this current Summer timetable and for Winter 2017-2018.

August Friday 18th, 25th

September Friday 1st, 8th 15th 22nd 29th

October Friday 6th, 27th 

November Friday 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th

December Friday 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd 

January 2018 Friday 12th, 19th, 26th

February 2018 Friday 2nd, 9th, 16th 23rd

March 2018 Friday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd 

These sailings will be subject to disruptions as any other service might be and may not be able to operate if there are weather/technical or unforeseen circumstances.  Normal terms, conditions and fares will apply. 

Further details on the timetable can be found here.