Posts Tagged ‘huisinis’

Toilets no more

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The building that provided relief to so many, is no more. Huisinis public toilets were leveled today to make way for the new Huisinis Gateway development.

Excavators will be hard at work over the next four weeks preparing the site for foundations and a new carpark. They will then move up the road to the quarry that will be turned into a licenced camping area for campervans.

The construction project will run until August, so the Trust has installed temporary toilet facilities opposite the development for the duration. The existing carpark has been taken out of use as it now forms part of the construction site. Temporary parking space is available over at the Scarp jetty.

The recent decision by Scottish Water to suspend the new water main to Huisinis will hopefully only have a minor impact upon the project. We had planned to install a water supply at the campervan site. This will no longer be possible. The existing supplies down at the Huisinis Gateway will be made available for campers, alongside the new chemical disposal point. A decision on how we will operate the showers will be made once we know the outcome of the Scottish Water review.

The funding search is still on for the finishing details. Our application to the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund was successful. £4500 has been received to provide waste recycling bins. This will cut the volume of waste heading to the landfill site from Huisinis. Bord na Gaidhlig has also awarded us £1500 towards the cost of bilingual signage.

For more details of the project, click HERE

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Redevelopment at Huisinis

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As well as making a donation towards the running costs of the toilet, one recent visitor was good enough to leave us some feedback on our redevelopment plans.

Thank you for this toilet which we have appreciated greatly over the years. But please don’t improve it too much or increase the parking. We come to Harris for many things; the beauty, the wilderness, the freedom and the solitude. We love your beautiful island and tread carefully but recently have begun to feel restricted and confined. Please don’t rope us off & herd us together too much. Remember we the tourists come for freedom and solitude. Please don’t take it away from us with notices prohibiting access and overnight parking unless absolutely necessary. The wild, open spaces, just as they are, are almost unique to Harris. They don’t need improvement.

The note highlights what attracts people to Harris and highlights what we need to protect. Unfortunately there are some less-responsible visitors that will drive their vehicles on the machair, will empty their campervan tanks in the toilet and will stack their rubbish up on the floor for the seagulls to spread around. Somehow we have to find a balance between improving facilities, making it easy for people to act responsibly without taking away from what everyone comes to see. We are working closely with SNH on this project and welcome all feedback.

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The Big Lottery spends more than a penny at Huisinis

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The Lottery’s “Investing in Ideas” fund is kick-starting a project to redevelop the Huisinis Public Toilets. The current toilet block is nearly 20 years old, and is in dire need of an update. The North Harris Trust has received the grant of nearly £5000 to engage an Architect to carry out a Feasibility Study.

Following the huge popularity of the Eagle Observatory, the plan is to build something similar at Huisinis, incorporating modern toilet facilities. We plan to work closely with Scottish Natural Heritage, who are keen to draw attention to the special machair landscape at Huisinis. We also plan to work with the local community to try to address some of the issues that the summer influx of visitors is causing.

This is the first step for the project. The study will give us some architect’s impressions of what the building could look like with indicative costs. This will help us look for funding for the redevelopment itself.

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