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Baile Chlann Domhnaill: A' Chill Bheag
Clan Donald Village, Kilbeg

Sleat Community Trust is delighted to support and work alongside the Clan Donald Lands Trust in their endeavours to create a new village at Kilbeg in central Sleat. In 2001 Clan Donald undertook a series of community consultations. The website is to be found here.

In March 2009 the Planning Department of The Highland Council accepted as an amendment to the Local Plan for WestHighlands and Islands, the inclusion of a proposed new settlement based in Kilbeg. Kilbeg sits within the lands of the Clan Donald Lands Trust (CDLT), a charitable trust that owns 20,000 acres of the southern half of the Sleat peninsula. CDLT, as custodian of a large working estate, is the second biggest employer in Sleat.

Within its lands, CDLT is responsible for the running of a large and highly successful visitor centre, incorporating a museum, historic gardens, self-catering accommodation, a restaurant and retail business. The wider estate is home to a number of farming, crofting and forestry operations, and includes an ancient woodland site which has been designated a site of special scientific interest.

The concept of a new village within the lands of CDLT, incorporating a mix of housing, commercial, educational and leisure development, presents a radical challenge. The amendment to the Local Plan has stimulated a discussion on how such a new village could be created, which in turn has highlighted the necessity for the development of a Masterplan. The Masterplan will illustrate what form a new settlement would take, and how it would impact and complement existing development within the area. It is consistent with the objectives of CDLT to foster a strong sense of community and work in harmony with its neighbour, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and other community partners to improve and expand facilities for all the residents of south Sleat. The development of Kilbeg represents a unique opportunity for CDLT and the local community to collaborate in the realisation of Clan Donald Village, offering much needed room to grow and modernised infrastructure for the area. The Vision The Masterplan when fully developed will propose a vision for Clan Donald Villageand provide a roadmap for how this can be achieved.

It will demonstrate how the new village will meet the current and future needs of the local community, be they young families in need of affordable housing, entrepreneurs seeking business premises, or employers needing enhanced housing opportunities to attract and retain their workforce. Importantly, it will provide great scope for a more synergistic relationship with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The College, which is the biggest employer in Sleat, needs to expand, develop teaching and conference facilities and provide more student accommodation. The ambition to assist the College and help it grow is entirely consistent with one of CDLT’s principal aims: namely the fostering of interest and education in the Gàidhealtachd. The Masterplan will demonstrate the need for balanced and sustainable development of the Kilbeg settlement, so that it can truly be called a village rather than simply a housing estate. It will anticipate the growth of more small to medium enterprises within Sleat, the need for which has already been demonstrated by the immediate success of the Fàs Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

A central feature of the Masterplan will be the provision of a large village green on to which sporting and leisure facilities for the community can be developed. There are currently no public green spaces or sports facilities for the residents of south Skye.

Outline Planning Permission was granted by the Highland Council on the 27th January 2012. The project is currently under long-term review.

See the full proposal here

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