Housing Tenure

Update February 2015

Over 77% of local housing is owner occupied and an estimated 20% are holiday homes. The number of people in social rented accommodation has fallen dramatically in the last 20 years as council houses were offered for sale to occupiers in line with government policy. This has been a national trend but it is noteworthy that rented accommodation is even more lacking in the District compared to the country as a whole. This makes the need for affordable housing here even greater.

February 2008

Table 3: Housing Tenure (Strachur and Strathlachlan Parishes

Tenure No. of residents Percentage Argyll & Bute Scotland
Owner Occupied 635 77% 64.5% 62.5%
Social Rented 103 12.5% 21.2& 27.1%
Private rented 62 7.7% 10.4% 6.7%
Rent Free* 24 2.9% 3% 3.5%
Total 824 100 100 100
Sources: 2001 census.


Comment:
*The census enumerators suggest that the Rent Free category is likely to be an overestimate as they believe that some people getting housing benefit mistakenly ticked that box.

The percentage of Owner Occupied residents in 1991 was 63%, compared to 77% in 2001.  The number of people in social rented accommodation has correspondingly fallen dramatically in the last 10-15 years, as council houses were offered for sale to occupiers in line with government policy.

Table 4: No. of Occupied Houses

Type Strachur Parish Strathlachlan Parish Total - Strachur District
Permanently Occupied
2001 Census 302 75 377 (362*)
2005 Electoral Roll 286 99 385
2007 Estimate - - 405
Holiday/second Homes
2007 Estimate 56 37 93
Chalets/caravans
2007 Estimate 68 150 218

Sources: 2005 Electoral Roll, 2001 Census, Steering Committee surveys.

Comment:
As noted elsewhere, the parish boundaries were misrepresented in the 2001 census as the data were aggregated by postcode. Much of Midletters was transferred from Strathlachlan to Strachur which accounts for the inconsistencies with the Electoral Roll figures. This is of little consequence for strategic planning but strikes a raw nerve with many residents of long standing. Of more concern is the inclusion of the southern half of Loch Eck. * The figure of 362 is the corrected total figure for permanently occupied houses as assessed by the Steering Committee.

3.2    Recent and Future Developments

The Steering Committee estimate that 20 new houses have been built for permanent occupation since 2005, including 10 in the Montgomery Place development. Thus it is estimated that the permanently occupied housing stock is now over 400 and has risen by 10% since 2001.

There is likely to be an increasing trend in the near future for private housing developments. At the time of writing, potential building plots at Tombuie, Clachan Crofts, the Creggans, Letters Farm, Leanach and Ardchyline are all either for sale, subject to planning permission or have houses already under construction. In all, this could result in a further 45 private houses being built over the next five years or so.

Anecdotally, there is a great need for affordable housing for people working in the Strachur area.  During the period when council housing was passing into private ownership, property values greatly increased. Property values in other parts of the UK grew earlier and faster, so this meant that for a ten year period to date, people have been able to sell properties elsewhere and move to the local area at a profit.

For comparison, the number of houses in the mid 19th century was Strachur 101, Strathlachlan 167, making a total of 268 occupied houses. From Table 1 it will be seen that the population then was some 40% higher reflecting occupancy rates double the current values.

The former parliamentary ward of East Loch Fyne, which included Strachur District, was reported as having the highest proportion of second/holiday homes in the whole of Scotland. This has serious implications for infrastructure as well as service and leisure facilities because of the resulting very large seasonal variations in population.

Strategic Issues

Very high proportion of second/holiday homes has implications for infrastructure as well as service and leisure facilities

The continuing high rate of house building has implications for infrastructure and the character of the village.

The reduction in available social rented accommodation combined with little affordable housing construction has implications for retaining young working people in the community.

 

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