A legal loophole could offer hope for the residents of Townfoot in Langholm an MSP has said.
Joan McAlpine MSP made the comments after she wrote to the Council on behalf of locals residing next to an abandoned building site owned by Welcare Homes.
The SNP MSP outlined their concerns about the safety and untidiness of the site, which has lain in waste since the developer left in 2008.
The Council indicated that they may be willing to serve notice under the Town and Country Planning Act requiring the owner to take steps to improve the appearance of the land.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“I am very pleased that the Council have outlined their willingness to consider forcing the developer to tidy up the Townfoot site.
“The Townfoot residents have had to live next to this eye-sore for the past seven years, and were more than willing to tidy up the site themselves.
“We wrote to Mr Willie Welsh who owns the site detailing this, and asking for a meeting with the locals to discuss options, but were disappointed not to receive a reply.
“Clearly the best outcome for all concerned is for Welcare Homes to secure the finance needed to develop a care home on the site as was their original intention. But in the meantime it would be fantastic for the site to be spruced up for the benefit of the residents and the wider community.”
Townfoot resident, Mrs Ann Christie said:
“I am delighted that, after years of asking for action to be taken on this eyesore outside our front door, our MSP Joan McAlpine has taken up the reins and there is now a chance of real action. A letter that the Townfoot residents and Ms McAlpine wrote to Mr Welsh, asking for a meeting with him, had sadly not received a reply and we therefore need, I think, more direct action taken. Hopefully this will encourage Mr Welsh to put the land back to its original state, something that the townsfolk have wanted, and indeed offered to do themselves, for years now”