A Scots councillor has likened the purchase of second homes in the Highlands to “the modern clearances by stealth”.

Julie McKenzie, SNP councillor for Oban North and Lorn, made the comparison on X, formerly known as Twitter, in relation to a post about a house in Plockton going up for sale for offers over £490,000.

The house is one of four currently up for sale in the village overlooking Loch Carron, one of which is listed for the same price. The two other properties are listed for offers over £525,000.

The councillor wrote: “The modern clearances have been happening by stealth for years in the Highlands and we require urgent, bold policy to halt this before it’s too late.”

READ MORE: A luxury islanders can't afford: 175 second homes lying empty on Scottish isle

Made famous by BBC comedy-drama series Hamish Macbeth, Plockton has been hailed as Scotland’s prettiest village and the Jewel of the Highlands.

Back in 2019, locals attempted to stop Highland Council from selling one of the last remaining council houses in the village to prevent it from becoming a holiday home

At the time, Plockton Community Council said that half of the 80 homes in the centre of the village were available for letting or being used as holiday homes.

Under plans outlined by the Scottish Government, around 25,000 second home owners will see their council tax bills double or more next year.

Ministers said empowering local authorities to charge a 100% premium on second homes under new legislation should increase the availability of housing.

The move is expected to spur some second home owners to sell up or rent out properties long-term, especially as an onerous new licensing system will apply to short-term Airbnb-style lets from October.

If approved by MSPs, the new measures are expected to come into force in April.