The Crofters Commission has approved the proposal by Ardfin Estate to create six new crofts on the Island of Jura. Drew Ratter, Chairman of the Commission, said, ‘This is just what the island needs, to build on its regeneration. These will be the first new crofts to be created on the island under the Crofting Reform Act, and it’s heartening to see such a positive outcome with six crofts extending to 2.70 hectares each being created to encourage young people to stay on the island.’ The new crofts will be located within walking distance of Craighouse, Jura’s main village. The landlord, Ardfin Estate, intends to impose the exclusion of the ‘right to buy’ option from the croft’s tenancy agreements. There are nine houses on Ardfin Estate, but none on the new croft land. Access to the new crofts will be directly from the main road. The crofts will have access to water and power supplies via connection to the main lines and pipes running into Craighouse. There will be no Common Grazing land for the new crofts.From the date the Commission issue their decision, there is a 42 day period for appeals to the Land Court. The next step will be for the Landlord/Estate to advertise and to select tenants to propose to the Commission for each croft.
Factor for the Ardfin Estate, William MacDonald, said: ‘Jura has over the last few years has seen the population on the island rise to over 200 from 175. Ardfin Estate wants to build on this success by creating six new crofts, providing opportunities for young people to have accommodation and establish new businesses and helping to secure the island for future generations.’ ‘We have already seen several of the older crofters in the township of Knockrome give up parts of their crofts, enabling young people to have ground of their own and to build affordable housing so they can remain on the island. The Estate aims to achieve the same result with the creation of these new crofts’. Area Commissioner, Robin Currie, said, ‘Ardfin Estate is to be congratulated on creating the new crofts on Jura. I see the creation of those crofts as being a major catalyst in retaining and attracting young families to Jura. This in turn will benefit the local services and boost the economically active population of Jura, which are the primary aims of the Initiative at the Edge partnership which operates on the island.’