Cor­pach fights ‘bonkers’ sit­u­a­tion

The Oban Times - - News -

A PE­TI­TION has been set up by a lo­cal com­mit­tee in a bid to fix a ‘bonkers sit­u­a­tion’ and take own­er­ship of a car park, writes Mon­ica Gib­son.

Kil­mallie Com­mu­nity Cen­tre (KCC) is de­scribed as be­ing lo­cated in the ‘heart of Cor­pach’ and is owned by the KCC com­mit­tee.

Over the past few years, the com­mit­tee has re­ceived fund­ing to up­grade the cen­tre and this year won a Key­stone Award for the suc­cess­ful manage­ment of a com­mu­nity build­ing.

De­spite their best ef­forts, the car park sur­round­ing the cen­tre has fallen into dis­re­pair. The com­mit­tee tried to get fund­ing to bring it up to stan­dard but hit a stum­bling block af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tions showed it be­longed to the High­land Coun­cil.

Sarah Kennedy, a di­rec­tor of the com­mit­tee, said she has been in talks with the coun­cil about the sit­u­a­tion for some time.

She said: ‘No-one knew who owned it. I had to go to the land reg­istry and pay for them to do a search and then it turned out the land be­longed to the coun­cil. I said to them ‘ well see­ing as you own it, can you fix it?’ and they said ‘no’.

‘I un­der­stand the coun­cil is strapped for cash but that’s why we wanted to help and thought it might want it out of its hair.’ The coun­cil con­firmed to

The Oban Times that it owns the car park and said the board which is in charge of as­set manage­ment was happy to of­fer a 99-year lease on it, but that they felt it was im­por­tant the coun­cil re­mained a stake­holder in the site due to the value to the com­mu­nity.

Mrs Kennedy ex­plained the prob­lem with long-term leases is that the com­mit­tee can­not re­ceive fund­ing for some­thing it doesn’t own.

The com­mit­tee has now launched a pe­ti­tion that al- ready has 90 sig­na­tures from lo­cals and visi­tors to the cen­tre.

She added: ‘It just seems bonkers that we own the com­mu­nity cen­tre and grounds, but not the car park.

‘We are try­ing to show that the wider com­mu­nity cares about this is­sue and we think the pe­ti­tion will help our case, so it’s re­ally im­por­tant that as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble sign it.

‘So far there are around 90 sig­na­tures which I don’t think is bad for a lit­tle cen­tre in Cor­pach.’

To find out more about the pe­ti­tion visit Kil­mallie Com­mu­nity Cen­tre or call 01397 712663.

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