Lochalsh Community Survey / Action Plan

I spent a good while trying to track down this document, created by a community group in Kyle of Lochalsh. It represents the many concerns of people in this part of the Highlands in the 2020s. As you will see, people were most concerned about housing.

“The Lochalsh Collaboration was set up in May 2019 to consult the community on its priorities, write a community action plan based on those priorities and then work with partners to take action. Lochalsh Collaboration is made up of representatives of the seven community councils and community trusts in Lochalsh… etc.” – Survey Report Introduction



Here’s the Summary PDF. Also the complete Survey Report PDF and I have an archive of the Action Plan PDF too.

I hope no one minds me sharing this. thought it might be valuable to others in the future, respect to those who put the hours in.


Regarding housing:

“The responses show that housing is of key concern to the community of Lochalsh: the comments in relation to housing were the most consistently powerful testimonies of any topic in the survey and appeared in ten out of the thirteen free text boxes at the end of question sections – considerably more often than any other topic. Many comments and the frequency with which housing is mentioned show clearly that respondents see housing as integral to many other aspects of life for individuals and the community.

Many comments acknowledged the detrimental impact the lack of affordable housing is having on the ability of communities to keep or attract young people and families. For more information on this, see the section on Under 30s:

• 79% of respondents reported difficulty in finding a house in the place in Lochalsh they wanted to live
• 162 people knew of a family member who would like to live in Lochalsh but cannot, due to housing shortages or the cost of housing
• Of those who would like to live in Lochalsh if they could find housing, 73 were age 16-29 and 86 were 30-49, with a very small number in the older age groups

There were 491 comments in total on housing:
• 396 in comment boxes in eight other parts of the survey
• Many comments linked the adverse impact of tourism on availability and affordability of housing, and the impact of the seasonal, low- paid tourism jobs on the affordability or accessibility of housing to local people…”

A choice quote:

“Lack of affordable local housing forces people to rent un- insulated, cold, damp houses from private landlords.”

A section from the “Action Plan” regarding tourism in Lochalsh:

“We know that tourism has serious impacts on the environment, the road infrastructure, on the availability and affordability of housing and results in seasonal employment. We think that for many tourists, Lochalsh is just a route through to Skye and the Western Isles, rather than a place to linger, resulting in more negative impact and fewer economic benefits for Lochalsh. We need to find ways to make tourism more sustainable and provide better quality experiences and incomes for the local community – as well as tourists – and develop new economic opportunities to improve employment options for the Lochalsh working population.”

ps. these documents have nothing to do with me. I noticed the original website / project is inaccessible and thought it sad all that hard work was unavailable. I had contacted the original authors and no one seemed to be able to get my a copy of these until I found Archive.org had crawled their site. Having lived in the community for a number of years I was initially enthusiastic about this project, though it simply revealed depressing statistics we (young people living in the Highlands) all know to be true, specifically the affordable housing sections.


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