Sale of historic house on hold

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There was good news this week for protestors objecting to the sale of a listed building 
linked to political reform 
campaigner Thomas Muir.

A sheriff granted them two weeks to prepare their case against East Dunbartonshire Council’s handling of the marketing and sale of Huntershill House at a court hearing in Glasgow on Friday morning.

They are now looking for a lawyer who will take up their case on a pro bono basis.

Protestors in the community council, led by local man Alex Watson, have labelled the sale of the Bishopbriggs building as a “national disgrace” and claim the council is “practically giving it away”.

The historic house was put on sale by the council two years ago. Earlier this year, councillors agreed to sell it for redevelopment as a care home and offices. Alex said: “The house, garden and car park area extend to two acres and are being sold for £140,000.

“Yet a recently marketed plot of land a quarter of this size in nearby Kenmure Avenue was valued at £150,000.

“We are not objecting to the sale. We just don’t believe the council has been transparent in marketing it to get the best possible price..

“The council has also put too many restrictions on what it should be used for. The public should be made aware.”

He added some local people did not realise the land affected was completely separate to the new Huntershill sports facility.

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “Huntershill House was marketed as a development opportunity extensively – after elected members agreed the house and land be sold in summer 2012 – and we received a number of enquiries. However, only two parties came forward with formal offers.

“The council’s development and regeneration committee agreed at a meeting on January 28, 2014 to progress with the sale of Huntershill House and associated land.

“As the sale is commercially sensitive it would in appropriate to comment on specifics, except to emphasise the council is committed to achieving best value.

“ The proposed purchaser has been working on the design proposal and liaising with Historic Scotland to obtain its agreement.”