Historic house is saved

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CONTROVERSIAL plans by Forestry Commission chiefs to demolish an historic house in the Galloway Forest Park have been thrown out, Cree Valley Community Council member Richard Kay told a CVCC meeting on Monday night in the McMillan Hall.

The house and farm buildings are at Glenhead, just two miles from Loch Trool, with the nearby land the scene of the Battle of Glentrool in 1307. The Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) had considered demolishing it.

A FCS spokesman this week said: “We are currently reviewing what to do with Glenhead but have decided that demolition is now off the menu. Once we have taken a review we’ll be in a position to say more. We expect that to be sometime in the spring.”

It had originally offered the property for sale or lease to a viable community group but none came forward, and residents and historians said the terms for lease were unrealistic.

The FCS said to retain the crumbling property would be a “burden on the taxpayer” but reversed its decision following a meeting between the FCS, Mr Kay and Mary Armstong, a vociferous supporter of saving the derelict property that is the last remnant of hill sheep farming in that area.

Mr Kay told the CVCC that the building was now occupied by bats and that the FCS “would not touch it”.

However, the FCS was not in a position to maintain the building and it had been suggested that if the CVCC could secure funds, it could lease the building from the FCS for a peppercorn rent.

CVCC chairman John NcNaught said there was no money available at present but if that changed the community council would certainly consider the idea.