ANNE House in Stranraer, a category B Listed building, is to be demolished.
At last Wednesday’s meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning applications committee, elected members went against council’s officers recommendations not to demolish the imposing Geogian mansion by deciding that the house, build in the 1800s, should come down as it was not economically viable to save it.
Despite objections from Historic Scotland the local authority’s own conservation officer, the demolition order was granted after a buyer for the imposing house could not be found. To purchase and refurbish the house would have cost and estimated £573,000 and despite a reduced asking price of £195,000 there had been only five verbal offers ranging between £80,000 and £150,000.
S&A Homes applied last year to knock down Anne House with the intention of redeveloping the site as a retail unit but in September the council gave the house a three-month stay of execution to see if an alternative could be found.
Galloway MSP Alex Fergusson said: “While I am sorry that this decision has been taken I cannot blame the Councillors for taking it as they have already allowed a considerable period of grace for other proposals to come forward without success. Given that no real alternatives or offers to purchase Anne House have been received the committee had no alternative other than to agree the proposal to demolish.
“It is now open to Historic Scotland to call this decision in if they believe Anne House to be of sufficient importance, and I would welcome any realistic proposal that would preserve this building. “