A MAN who wants to build a new house in a small Ross-shire settlement has baulked after learning he could face a hefty bill of £11,000 to upgrade access to it.
Arthur Macdonald got the go-ahead from Highland Council earlier this year to construct the new home in Annat, near Torridon.
As a strict condition of the consent Mr Macdonald was instructed that he would have to carry out improvements to the junction linked to the track, which is used by the occupants of two homes including a guesthouse already there.
Roads officials want the junction widened because at the moment only one vehicle can pass it a time and cars would be left waiting to turn from the A896 road or have to reverse onto the main route, if the work was not carried out.
However, Mr Macdonald, who currently lives in Inverness, said he has been quoted £11,000 for the works which would also include improving the surface for the first five metres of the track.
In a letter of appeal to the council he said that shelling out that money would represent more than 10 per cent of his entire budget for the house’s construction and claimed it was out of proportion.
"In all the times I have used the junction over 10 years I have never come across another vehicle using the junction at the same time," he said.
"I therefore do not see any need for an extensive double track at the junction."
Mr Macdonald’s appeal will come before the council’s planning review body which meets in Thurso on Thursday.
The developer said the access track had been in use by two properties since the 60s and one of the homes was converted into a guesthouse several years ago which enjoyed a steady trade but he insisted no traffic incidents or problems had occurred on the route.
He said the "extensive" alterations would cause massive inconvenience for the guesthouse owners and visitors and claimed the estimated costs for one person and one house was excessive.
Mr Macdonald has instead suggested a new layby at the end of the track would be a more suitable solution.
However, in a report to councillors, planning officials said the potential construction costs were not a planning consideration and any disruption would be short-term.