Ples to find new use for Slamannan eyesore

MSP Angus MacDonald says locals are fed up with the sight of the dilapidated hotel
MSP Angus MacDonald says locals are fed up with the sight of the dilapidated hotel

Calls are being made to turn a dilapidated eyesore in one Braes village into a facility the whole community can use.

Slamannan’s Royal Hotel has lain empty for a decade and its condition has deteriorated badly over the years.

Now Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald says Falkirk Council should consider ways to use it to the community’s benefit and use a compulsory purchase order to buy the building.

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Local councillor John McLuckie says with budgets stretched, the council doesn’t have funding for such a project, but is willing to offer any support it can to whoever takes the neglected property on.

Mr MacDonald said: “I have had letters and emails from people regarding the state of this building for some time.

“It has been on the open market for several months with no buyer coming forward so perhaps it is time to look at the situation again with a view to redeveloping the centre of Slamannan.”

He said it could be converted to flats to alleviate council house waiting times, renovated as a community hall or demolished for car parking which the village needs.

Councillor McLuckie said: “I’ve been pushing for this building to be refurbished for years. There are properties like this throughout the area, but I desperately want to see something happen with this property as soon as possible.

“The council has invested money in other areas of Slamannan, but unfortunately there is no money for a project of this type at the moment.”

A planning application to convert the building into four flats made by then owner David Baird was approved in 2007, but expired in April last year.

Over the years, residents have called for action to regenerate the village.

Mr McLuckie enquired about the possibility of the council buying the Royal Hotel through a compulsory purchase order last year.

In a reply to his query, the council’s Douglas Duff said last March: “There are many buildings of this type that have been affected by the recession and, until we see an upturn, it will be difficult to see how successful redevelopment can be secured.”

A live planning consent to build four flats at the site expired in April last year.

Building Standards say the property is not in a dangerous condition .