Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Gibson welcomes croft re-letting

News release
Immediate release


Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed a decision by Balnagown Estate to re-let Croft R2150 Oldtown, Ardgay.

The confirmation came in a letter to Rob from the Crofters Commission Chief Executive Nick Reiter.

Mr Gibson had contacted the Crofters Commission after reports circulated that the 2.1 hectare property was to be broken up, decrofted by the estate and given over for housing development.

However after meetings between the Commission and Estate the latter confirmed that they would be re-letting the original property as one unit.

Mr Gibson said:

"This a great outcome. Nick Reiter and the Commission are to be congratulated on their intervention and the Balnagown estates too for their decision to re-let the property in its original state."

"For the future it is important that as much land as possible is kept for food production and croft land in the North and West is of the greatest importance. Low cost affordable housing is also important to the way of life in the Highlands and Islands but I have grave reservations to building on large areas of fertile land. There are enough barren areas in crofting communities where homes can be built."

"The Scottish Government is committed to developing Scottish food policy which will give the country greater self sufficiency. We can all see that food prices are rising and with climate change and the mad rush towards bio-fuels it will continue to do so. So what is imperative is that we do not sacrifice a self sufficient future by sacrificing our productive croft and farm land for further housing developments."


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