As with many small rural communities in the Western Isles, finding affordable house plots and rented housing can be something of a challenge, and in this respect Bernera is no different. Over the last five years a notable increase in the number of people moving from the mainland UK to the Western Isles has pushed up house prices dramatically. The rising costs of house plots and building materials have also meant the cost of new builds has skyrocketed, thus pricing many out of the housing market.
The need to provide affordable house plots and housing is now more crucial than ever if Bernera community is to cater for: those on the housing waiting list; those who want to return to their native Bernera; newcomers who wish to settle here; the elderly who require adapted new homes that meet their needs and are close to their families and friends.
As the Trust’s Community Land Buyout of Great Bernera Estate has been fraught with obstacles, one of the biggest challenges Bernera is facing is obtaining land to offer plots for affordable self-builds and social housing. As a result, other potential housing sites are being scoped out and the Trust are currently looking at a parcel of land in Breaclete known as The Glebe. This site has been identified by CnES, HHP and the GBCDT as a potential housing development site. The three bodies are currently working together to negotiate a land purchase for a potential development of up to eight new homes and two self-build plots.
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