Cllr Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee, said: “Comhairle nan Eilean Siar views community land ownership as a key strategic objective to enable communities to benefit from the wealth generated by the land assets where they live. Community land ownership has a proven track record of delivering local sustainable development in the Outer Hebrides, as illustrated by the fact that over 75% of the islands’ population live on community owned land.
“The Comhairle welcomes the forthcoming ballot on a possible community buyout of the Bays of Harris Estate. This is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for the residents of the Estate to have their say on taking control of their future through community ownership of the land where they live. The feasibility study and business plan prepared for the Bays of Harris Steering Group shows that community ownership of the Estate can help deliver much needed affordable housing, jobs, and crofting support for the area, making the community more resilient by retaining and growing its resident population in a more demographically balanced way. The Comhairle stands ready to support a buyout of the Bays of Harris Estate, should the community provide a mandate for that to be pursued.”