Crofters support spaceport plan; UK BULLETINS.
PLANS to establish the UK's first spaceport in the north of Scotland have been given initial backing by crofters on the proposed land.
The A'Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland was chosen by the UK Space Agency earlier this year as the site for vertical rocket and satellite launches.
Melness Crofters Estate (MCE), who own the prospective launch site, held a ballot of crofters this week, with 59% voting in favour of working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on the project.
In total, there were 27 votes in favour, 18 against and one spoiled ballot paper.
HIE said the outcome means the PS17.3m project can now move to the next phase focusing on safety and environmental issues.
A formal planning application is expected to be submitted to Highland Council by the end of 2019.
MCE chairman Dorothy Pritchard said crofters still want to see the environmental impact kept to a minimum.
She said: "We are happy to continue discussions with HIE, work towards a conclusion on the heads of terms and ultimately the land lease."