The constituency MSP for Skye has described Highland Council's decision to reject a community-led buyout for land at the Old Man of Storr as "out of step with the spirit of community empowerment".

Kate Forbes MSP commended Staffin Community Trust for its proposals, as it seeks to embark on a major project including a new off-road car park, public toilets and interpretation at one of Skye's most popular landmarks.

Highland Council's rejection of the Asset Transfer Request – the first in the Highlands under the new Community Empowerment Act – follows another busy summer on Skye as infrastructure comes under growing strain.

Last week Staffin Community Trust called for a review of Highland Council's decision, adding that they hoped to negotiate with senior council representatives.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "I have supported Staffin Community Trust's proposed buyout of the Storr land, and I was hugely disappointed by the recent decision to reject the buyout.

"After a summer of talking about improving Skye's infrastructure and helping communities, I think the recent decision is out of step with public opinion.

"I think we should be doing a lot more to empower communities, not hinder them, especially when they have put so much time and effort into a proposal like Staffin Community Trust has.

"I'm pleased that the Trust intends to negotiate and to get a review of the recent decision to reject their proposal.

"I continue to fully support Staffin Community Trust and hope that community empowerment and common sense will prevail."

(This is a revised version of the Statement sent out by the MSP today.  The original e-mail was sent out at 09.19.  We published it on the TST at 11.21.  The e-mail was then 'recalled' at 14.20 and replaced by a further statement at 14.23.  They said the earlier version had been "incorrect."  )