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Although there are still issues to be sorted, the Great Bernera Community Development Trust is now more hopeful that they are getting positive support from Scottish Government officials to help them secure a compulsory buy-out of the island on behalf of the local community.

That was the strong message from the trust at its AGM on Monday (November 14).

Although there is still concern that Section 3 of the 2003 Land Reform Act, which was meant to aid community buy-outs, in the event of a hostile landlord such as Bernera has, still allows delaying tactics, there was more of an air of confidence.

There has already been an 85 per cent vote in favour of a buy-out.

But plans are still being objected to by landowner, Cyran de la Lanne-Mirrlees, a student in Frankfurt, who is trying to impose extortionate fees for even house-building.

The current legislation does not impose a limit on the number of times a landowner can refuse offers, a fact that many see as a flaw in the law.

There are also concerns about the fact that voting is not on a simple postcode basis with owners of so-called “free gift” crofts disqualified from voting.

With the recent closures of the primary school and the local shop, islanders are concerned that the matter must be dealt with quickly for Bernera to start making a recovery.

Here is a taste of the meeting with interviews with committee members.