Trust hopes to take over Un­der­hill site

The Galloway News - - NEWS -

A com­mu­nity group is tar­get­ing the takeover of a patch of Dalry land that has been un­used for 80 years.

The Dalry Com­mu­nity Prop­erty Trust is ex­plor­ing op­tions for the land at Un­der­hill af­ter coun­cil­lors de­cided against putting it up for sale.

The coun­cil, which bought the land in 1930, has deemed it sur­plus to re­quire­ments as there was no need for it to be used for ex­tra burial space.

A wildlife garden, startup busi­ness spa­ces and a recre­ation area for young peo­ple are among the ideas that have been put for­ward.

The trust’s Andi Holmes said: “We have had a few ideas and need to get peo­ple to­gether to move it on. The ideas are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive.

“With coun­cil cuts, com­mu­ni­ties need to take over parts like this and find ways to gen­er­ate in­come, how­ever mod­est.”

Mem­bers of Ste­wartry Area Com­mit­tee were told last week that the trust wanted to do some­thing with the land but didn’t cur­rently have fi­nance.

They were keen for it to be handed over for a nom­i­nal sum and, if they couldn’t com­plete their pro­ject within a cer­tain time­frame, they would for­feit the land.

How­ever, a re­port re­vealed Busi­ness Gate­way has had no de­mand for busi­ness start-up units in the town.

That, com­bined with the trust cur­rently be­ing un­able to ad­vance their pro­ject, led to the con­clu­sion it would be “worth­while test­ing the mar­ket to as­sess the site’s devel­op­ment po­ten­tial”.

How­ever, Glenkens coun­cil­lor Dougie Camp­bell per­suaded col­leagues to keep the land off the mar­ket for a year to give the trust the chance to take con­trol with an as­set trans­fer.

He said: “A sur­vey will now seek res­i­dents’ views on how the land might best be de­vel­oped to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity.”

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