Protestors up in arms at sale of historic house

Protestors at Huntershill House
Protestors at Huntershill House

Protestors have labelled the sale of a listed building linked to political reform campaigner Thomas Muir as a ‘national disgrace’.

They claim East Dunbartonshire Council is practically giving away Huntershill House and its surrounding land.

The historic building was put up for sale by the council two years ago. At a recent meeting councillors agreed to sell it for redevelopment as a care home and offices.

Leading the protest against the sale, Alex Watson said: “I am concerned this building of local and national importance is being sold with such a large amount of ground for what is a pitiful amount of money.

“This property has never had a for sale sign erected advertising the house. The only sign was for a ‘Development Opportunity’, on Auchinairn Road, some distance away.

“The public surely should be made aware a property for the ‘common good’ is being disposed of way below local market value.”

According to Mr Watson, their research shows a recently marketed 0.18-acre plot of land in nearby Kenmure Avenue, is valued at £150,000 with a guide price of £95,000.

He said: “The car park area at Huntershill is 0.30 acres and is being sold along with the rest of the site – including the house and garden extending to two acres – at £140,000.

“This has the making of a national disgrace.”

Members of the public have until Wednesday, March 4 to raise an objection.

Thomas Glen, Director of Development and Regeneration, said: “The value of a site/development opportunity is determined by but not limited to: location; ground conditions; planning policy; requirements of other statutory bodies or utility companies; demolition costs, site capacity and neighbouring uses.

“Huntershill House was marketed as a development opportunity and we received a number of enquiries. However, only two parties came forward with formal offers.

“The council agreed at a meeting on 28 January 2014 to progress with the sale.

“As the sale is commercially sensitive it would inappropriate 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. If and when that is in place and planning consent has been granted we will be able to conclude the sale.”