A man keen to transform a derelict Forestry Commission building into a key research centre is calling for a meeting with a Commission chief and local residents.
Graham Ennis, who runs the EarthArkProject based in Brighton, had high hopes of investing in Glenhead, near Loch Trool, and making it a hub for green and environmental studies which would invite researchers and students to the area.
But following months of correspondence with the Forestry Commission, Mr Ennis says he has hit a brick wall and that no one is interested in his plans. The Commission has instead announced its intentions to sell the historic building on the open market next year.
So now Mr Ennis hopes to hold a meeting locally this month, and having gained support of nearby residents who want to see Glenhead saved, it is hoped it will be well-attended.
He said: “The Commission seems to think that its behaviour over the whole problem of properties like Glenhead House, which is actually a disused sheep farm, is one of disposal, preferably in a way that minimises the costs to the Commission, and gives the largest and quickest property profit they can grab.
“If I have done nothing else, I have forced out into the open the real plans of the Commission over the farm at Glenhead, and the 30 or so other sheep farms that they have ownership of, and which they have kept in the same state of dilapidation, neglect, and empty for some years now.
“I will be surprised if the Commission attends [the meeting], but they should. In the meantime, I am pursuing a lease for the Glenhead farm and house, and am now making an official compliant to the Forestry Commission, who I think have acted illegally in the way they have handled Glenhead, and other farms in the area they own.”
Details of the meeting will be published in The Galloway Gazette.