‘Let’s pay a bargain price’

The Big Bar in Bainsford has been labelled an eyesore
The Big Bar in Bainsford has been labelled an eyesore

Demolishing a ‘blot on the landscape’ would allow 
regeneration of a run-down area, according to a senior councillor.

The former public house and flats in Bainsford have been derelict since a major fire eight years ago.

Now Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn has called on the local authority to tackle the problem by using compulsory purchase powers to 
acquire the Big Bar building at the corner of Main Street and David’s Loan.

She wants Falkirk Council to acquire and demolish the building and use the site to provide new social housing.

The councillor has been involved in previous efforts to improve the state of the building.

However, a major hurdle has always been that there are several different landlords 
involved with the property and tracking them down proved difficult.

A few years ago, a deal 
appeared to have been reached with owners agreeing to contribute to a project to make the distinctive red sandstone property wind and watertight.

Despite a contractor being appointed to replace the badly damaged roof, the work was never completed. According to Mrs Meiklejohn, the deal hit difficulties over owners’ 
contributions.

The leader of the SNP group now wants Falkirk Council to intervene “in the public interest” by using its compulsory purchase powers.

She said: “I’m not prepared to let this one go. Doing this would enhance the area and kickstart regeneration. It’s not going to happen quickly but it would be a start.

“The SNP group believes that all our communities are important, which is why we believe it is in the public 
interest for the council to take these properties into public ownership and bring forward a refurbishment programme when the ownership issues are resolved.

“The alternative is to do nothing until the building deteriorates to the level where demolition is the only option. That would be a failure in my eyes as well as those of the people of Bainsford.”

She has written to the council’s director of development services, Rhona Geisler, and hopes a meeting will take place shortly between elected members and officers to discuss the issue.