A new image for Tornagrain, the new town planned between Inverness and Nairn, has been unveiled at a community liaison meeting.
The image of the neighbourhood square planned as part of the first phase was shown to the local community as part of an update on progress in the development of the new town.
Work has continued in recent months on signing off various conditions and preparing applications for technical aspects of the site around infrastructure following the diversion of the gas pipeline.
And as Andrew Howard of Moray Estates explained, they hope to soon be in a position to say which two companies will build Phase I of the development. “We always planned to have more than one developer on the site and we hope to award contracts to two experienced builders before the end of the year. It’s very important to us that we get people who can deliver the high quality we expect and who also appreciate what we are trying to achieve in terms of our approach to design.
The Community Liaison Group was set up to ensure the community were kept informed at different stages of the development. At the meeting they heard more details on a range of issues including the different types of roads that would form part of the development and what arrangements were being made to ensure bin lorries could access each home.
Moray Estates have given a commitment to regularly update the Liaison Group and listen to any concerns. Questions at the meeting covered issues such as timing of road improvements, plans for replanting trees and arrangements for wastewater treatment.
Work is due to start in early 2015 on various parts of the infrastructure with house building due to begin in the summer.
Phase I will consist of a mix of 190 homes including flats, terraced, semi detached and detached house. A quarter of the houses in the development will be affordable homes. Initially it is expected that between 35 and 45 houses will be completed each year in Phase I. The pace of construction will increase over time as the development grows in scale.
As Andrew Howard explained: “Sometimes people forget that this is a very long term project and it will not appear overnight. It’s going to take 50 to 60 years for the new town to be completed.
One of the first stages in the construction process is the upgrading of the road which runs from the A96 to Croy with initial work concentrated on the section up to the Tornagrain site.
The new town, which will become home for up to 10,000 people has been designed by the leading US master planner Andres Duany and will take between forty and fifty years to complete.
Tornagrain is one of the eleven exemplar projects selected by the Scottish Government as part of the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative. The scheme aims to improve the quality of the planned environment by encouraging the creation of places, designed and built to last, where a high quality of life can be achieved.
The town will include up to 5,000 homes, almost 80 hectares of parks and open spaces, three primary schools and one secondary school. Shops, libraries, churches, healthcare facilities and community halls all form part of the blueprint.
Andres Duany was a founding member of the New Urbanism movement which advocates a return to traditional town planning and the creation of sustainable towns which are walkable and rely more on public transport and less on cars. This is partly achieved by locating homes closer to jobs.
For more information contact Jane Cumming on 01463 783018 or 07900 917142 or at firstname.lastname@example.org