Trust hopes to take over Underhill site
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.”