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Auction action for town centre sites

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Auction action for town centre sites

TWO prominent Annan town centre properties are going to auction next week, while the push also continues to find a buyer for the Chapelcross site.

The derelict former Erskine Church on Bank Street will go under the hammer on Thursday, with a guide price of £50,000.

In the same live sale, the Queensberry Arms Hotel will be offered at a guide price of £240,000.

They will both feature in the Shepherd Chartered Surveyors commercial property auction, which will be livestreamed.

The sellers believe both present a great opportunity for investors and Shepherd spokesman Robert Maxwell said: “Whilst the Queensberry Arms Hotel and former Erskine Church are listed as separate lots and present attractive individual acquisition opportunities, the fact they are neighbouring properties creates potential for a substantial town centre redevelopment project.

“This live broadcast will witness a significant level of competitive bidding as a number of the lots are already attracting widespread interest.”

Concerns have grown locally over the last decade about the state of the old, three-storey Erskine Church, which is B listed, so many residents will be hoping it is sold off and redeveloped.

The historic building was previously granted planning permission for redevelopment into 11 residential flats. The scheme included six two-bed flats and five one-bed flats but that has now lapsed.

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The adjoining hotel has 24 ensuite bedrooms, owners’ accommodation, a public bar, restaurant and function room, two beer gardens and large private car park.

It is let to a private tenant, who took entry in 2019. The lease terminates in 2024.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the 198 hectare Chapelcross site is being made available in three phases.

Agents Avison Young describe it as “an opportunity to purchase a strategic site on a scale rarely available in the UK” and point out it is one of the largest brownfield sites for sale in Scotland.

Potential buyers are informed that it has been identified as a potential hydrogen hub in the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Action Plan and by Scottish Futures Trust for possible host for a data centre, while Dumfries and Galloway Council have designated it for business, industrial and energy related purposes in their local plan.

In a joint-statement, Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell and MP David Mundell welcomed the ongoing marketing campaign for Chapelcross, saying: “It is important the investment on the site and the potential support opportunities available, which could deliver high quality jobs to the Annan and wider area, are highlighted nationally and internationally.”