Falkirk Council has lost out on £98,000 on the sale of unused land because it’s near a protected site and a community project’s spiralling costs.
Central Demolition agreed to pay the local authority £146,000 for the land, valued at £350,000, adjacent to their headquarters. In addition, the business also agreed to upgrade the nearby football pitch and pavilion at Loch Park, at a cost of £204,000.
However, now the council will only get £48,000 from the sale after Historic Scotland imposed a buffer zone around the nearby Antonine Wall. The reduced site size meant the site was now valued at £280,000 while the costs for upgrading the football park increased to £232,000.
Falkirk Council’s Executive Committee originally approved the purchase in 2013 and last week heard a report on the sale and the capital expected.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Craig Martin said: “It’s unfortunate that the council will be getting less from the sale, but there is nothing we can do.
“It’s important The Antonine Wall is protected and if Historic Scotland say a 20 metre buffer zone is needed then we must adhere to that.
“The community will be getting great facilities from the sale too. It was unused ground, so if Central Demolition can use it and expand, it’s a good news story.”
The reduction in capital comes at a time when the council is trying to make £46 million of savings in the next three years.
For £98,000 the local authority could have paid for four elderly people to have residential care for a year, covered the council gas bill for two weeks, or run four community halls for one year.
The upgraded football park should be complete by spring 2016.
Nobody from Central Demolition was available for comment on their plans for the site.