Highlands & Islands

First residents for planned new town in Highlands

The Hewitt family and John Stuart, chairman of Moray Estates at Tornagrain Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image caption The Hewitt family and John Stuart, right, chairman of Moray Estates at Tornagrain

Residents have begun moving in to what developers claim is the first new town to be built in Scotland for more than 50 years.

Tornagrain is being built on farmland near Inverness and those behind the project say it will eventually grow into a community of 12,000 people.

The concept has been more than 10 years in the making and is being led by landowner the Earl of Moray.

It is modelled on planned villages of the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Tornagrain's homes will range from large townhouses to small flats.

Shops, premises for other businesses and green spaces will also be constructed in phases.

Among the first families to move in are Madeline and Jonathan Hewitt and their daughter Millie.

Image caption Developers claim Tornagrain is the first new town to be built in Scotland for more than 50 years
Image caption The Hewitt family are among the development's first residents

Highland Council's planning, environment and development committee voted 17 to three in favour of the project in 2012.

The project had been the source of a row at a previous council meeting when councillors were told they could not have a vote on whether it should be given planning permission in principle.

At the meeting officials said that there were no valid grounds to reject the new town because the project was in the council's development plan.

This prompted an angry reaction from some councillors.

The project was then later brought back before the committee to be debated and voted on.

In 2015, when the first work began on the new town, the developers said it could take up to 60 years to complete the overall project.

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