Council considers options for Millpark site following fire
A FIRE recently at Millpark, Oban, may give Argyll and Bute Council the opportunity to sell off excess land and allow a developer to move into the town.
A source close to the council leadership told The Oban Times this week that the authority has already started to consider selling off the town centre land and moving the majority of roads and amenity staff to Jackson’s Quarry.
The fire at Millpark devastated council property to an estimated value of £ 5 million.
Property and a large storage building for vehicles and equipment were destroyed. Neighbours as far away as Soroba heard explosions of gas canisters through the night.
Every member of staff who works on the site has been interviewed by police as they try to determine whether the fire was a criminal act.
Police say it is unlikely the building at the site will be able to be entered again due to its dangerous and fragile state and therefore the crime scene will need to be demolished.
Insurance loss adjusters continue to work with the local authority, police and fire authorities on the site to come up with an accurate sum of monies lost.
Disgruntled staff members have said they are disappointed that senior members of management have not been to visit the site in spite of it being the largest and most devastating fire to happen in the area for decades.
One man said: ‘It is as if they are just not bothered.
‘You will not believe the amount of pressure we are all working under to continue to deliver a service, but we haven’t had a thanks for pulling out all the stops from anyone.
‘To be fair, Councillor McCuish has been up to see us. He has taken an interest at least.’
Staff members have been moved to Jackson’s Quarry near the auction mart.
Reports of accident near misses due to the huge increase in the number of vehicle movements in the area were being made by staff members in all the surrounding businesses.
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘It is too early to say exactly what will happen with the site and what caused the fire.
‘The damaged buildings are currently in the process of being demolished.
‘The fire service and the police continue with their investigation and we are in discussions with our loss adjusters about the next steps.
‘Staff are currently delivering services out of Jackson’s Quarry and the council offices on Albany Street.
‘Obviously our immediate focus has been on restoring and maintaining services.
‘Now that things are back on track, we will begin to develop future options for the Mill Lane depot site.
‘We continue to engage with staff who have been affected by the fire through our normal internal channels.’