Estate business deals with crofting related matters and commercial activities such as sand extraction and leases.
A small sub-group is responsible for managing the estate business and work alongside the Commercial Development Manager. This business has been extremely busy since the buy-out in January 2007. There have been many new houses built on the estate, major developments by Scottish Water (Eoropie and Habost) and commercial developments at Galson and Borve taking place, this has resulted in a significant workload for the group, chaired by Norman Thomson.
Mr Simon Fraser of Anderson Macarthur & Co. who was the factor to the previous landlord was retained as Interim Crofting Administrator. Generally all correspondence relating to the estate business goes to Mr Fraser in the first instance. He will then disseminate the correspondence and where he requires decisions from the trust will do so accordingly. This requires frequent meetings of the sub-group to ensure that all correspondence is handled expeditiously. Mr Fraser is very happy with this arrangement as it brings local knowledge to the process.
The sub-group are responsible for granting titles for new houses, approval of dispositions, granting rights of servitude, granting wayleaves to the Utility Companies, negotiating with Scottish Water for the sale of land for new developments. Furthermore the sub-group is responsible for the negotiation of rentals for the communications masts and the royalties for the sand and rock quarrying at Habost and Knockaird respectively.
With so many new houses being built on the estate and those requiring a mortgage will need title to the house site, this has resulted in a steep rise in the number of titles being granted. The Urras are delighted that this is the case as it bodes well for the future of our community. Scottish Water have also been involved in a number of developments throughout the estate but particularly at Habost and Eoropie. Other smaller developments have taken place at Borve and Cross. The monies received for the sale of land to Scottish Water is shared on a 50/50 basis between the respective grazings and the Urras.