SCCDC “Right to Buy” Castle Toward Estate approved
January 24, 2013
After a 63 day consultation process by the Scottish Government under the Scottish land reform act and the Community right to buy scheme (CRTB) the South Cowal Community Development Company have now been given the green light by Scottish Ministers to exercise the communities “right to buy” the Castle Toward estate.
The SCCDC can now, and for a period of the five further years, exercise the right to buy the estate if and when it comes on the market. The Castle Toward estate is currently owned by Argyll and Bute council who had been openly seeking to sell the estate before the SCCDC bid interrupted the process. It is now expected that the council will dispose of the property. Once the council gives its decision to put the Castle Toward estate on the market the SCCDC have twenty eight days to decide whether to proceed in its plans to purchase the estate and then a further six months to formulate business plans, conduct feasibility studies and arrange a public vote before the “right to buy” option returns to the Scottish Government ministers for final approval. During this period no other group, nor individual, is allowed to purchase the Castle Toward Estate.
Upon receiving confirmation from the CRTB Chairman of the SCCDC Alan Stewart commented; “This is the best news the SCCDC and community could have hoped to hear” he said; “I don’t know whether to throw a party or throw my hands in the air in contemplation of the massive task that lies ahead” Giving praise to all those involved so far Alan said; “I must thank all those locally and nationally who have helped us get to this important milestone, from the expertise and guidance from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to the support offered so far by Argyll and Bute council and to the hard work of the SCCDC volunteers who helped us push the right to buy to this point, It has been a truly Herculean effort, but now the real hard work begins.” When asked if he was confident the council would now put the estate back on the market in order that the SCCDC can proceed he said “ the council had been openly trying to sell the Castle Toward estate before the SCCDC registered its right to buy so one would assume that now we have secured the right to buy the land the council will now put it straight back on the market, and we can proceed”
A full copy of the Scottish Ministers reply and decision to allow the SCCDC exercise their community right to buy can be read in full by copying the (long) link below into your browser