There were 8,358 Households in 2011, 30.5% of households have only one adult living in them which is lower than Perth and Kinross where 32.2% of households are home to only one adult. 57% of homes are owner occupied while 65.9% of households in Perth and Kinross as a whole. 65% of Households are owner occupied. The
The average household income in 2014 for Highland and Strathtay was recorded as £31,638, which represents the lowest average of the Perth and Kinross localities. Lower than average incomes are set against higher than average house prices, which were recorded as £206,000 for the same period. This is the second highest of all the localities.
The recent Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA) identified that the median price for a property in Highland and Strathtay was higher than any of the other market areas that make up Perth and Kinross. The main drivers in relation to this were identified as higher levels of 2nd/holiday homes purchased in the area and also a relatively dispersed housing market, with a higher percentage of buyers originating from out with Perth and Kinross. Furthermore this was set against below average household incomes. It was concluded that affordability within the house purchase market was more of an issue in Highland and Strathtay than any of the other market areas.
The above Needs and Demand Assessment also reported that new build house rates in Perth and Kinross continued to be at a level far below those recorded during the pre-recession (2007) years. In relation to Highland and Strathtay, the Proposed Local Development Plan acknowledges the various topographical and environmental constraints which limit the scope of potential development in the area. This creates further challenges in relation to the provision of the necessary new house build rate required to meet current and future levels of demand.
Fuel poverty is a significant issue this rural locality where many homes are not on the mains gas network making fuel more expensive, coupled with more older housing which are more expensive to heat and lower average wages because of the rural economy
Transport is a key issue in this rural locality. There are four Train Stations in the Locality at Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl on the Perth to Inverness line and Rannoch Station on the West Highland Line. The A9 runs through locality and is being duelled to improve travel times and improve road safety. The rural nature of the locality make it hard for people without access to a car to travel, particularly for young people to travel to activities and older people who can’t drive
Road accidents from casualties are more frequent in Highland & Strathtay than any other locality in Perth & Kinross, and are above the Scottish average, with 69.5 per 100,000 population in 2011-13
The Main Issue Report identifies need and challenges facing new developments for Perth & Kinross. For the northern part of the locality, it was estimated that from 2010-2014, 1,190 new homes were needed to meet demand, however only 270 housing units were built over that period. Towns where more housing is required include Dunkeld/ Birnam, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. Key challenges to building more housing in the region is the lack of available brownfield sites, most new homes would need to be built on greenfield site or sites next to existing settlements. In particular there are sites of scientific interest such as the Lunan Loch catchment meaning any proposed development should be limited. This has mean some families have had to move out the locality due to a lack of affordable housing.
There is also difficulty in identifying suitable land to develop in the area for employment opportunities. The main issue report highlighted the need for additional retail space. This is needed for a suitably sized food store in the northern part of the locality.
Currently, Perth and Kinross Council is in the process of building a new secondary school in Bertha Park, which will be the first new secondary school to be built in Scotland in many years. This will help support our growing population of children and young people for Strathtay and the surrounding areas.
You can read all about future land use and the Local Development Plan process here.
Independent Planning advice can be obtained from PAS.
Blair Atholl and the Area North is part of the Cairngorms National Park and Planning comes under the National Park Authority.
Better Connected: Services, Transport and Digital Lives
Services: The people the commissioners spoke to repeatedly mentioned having to explain their situation several times to several different people. They also mentioned not knowing what services are on offer or what choices they have. The bureaucracy associated with getting help was identified as a barrier. The language services are provided in is also a significant factor in people’s willingness to seek them.
Transport: Transport was highlighted as a significant issue. This was amplified in situations where people did not have access to a car or had a disability. The commission heard that some communities were coming up with their own innovative transport solutions.
Digital Lives: The availability of more services and information online, whilst helpful for some, creates an additional barrier for those who do not have the require skills or access to technology. In many rural parts of Highland and Strathtay, broadband is unavailable and mobile coverage is poor. There is a real risk that those who could benefit most from being connected are being left behind.
Perth and Kinross- Local Housing Strategy