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Conditions agreed to safeguard school site

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By Fiona Reid
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Conditions agreed to safeguard school site

‘CLAWBACK’ clauses have been put in place to ensure that the old Moffat Academy will not meet the same fate as ‘shabby’ Lockerbie.

In February, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s policy and resources committee considered two offers to purchase the ex school land.

The committee agreed to accept the higher bid, however clauses were put in place to ensure the site is not left to deteriorate.

Explaining the clauses, Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson said: “The sale is anticipated to be concluded over the next few months and the terms and conditions of sale will include ‘clawback’ clauses, which will give the council the option to purchase the property back at the original sale price in the event that planning permission is not obtained within 12 months of the date of concluding the missives, or if development does not proceed within 24 months of planning permission being obtained.”

The new conditions will help to ensure the site does not suffer the same fate as its Lockerbie neighbour.

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RUBBLE . . . the ex Lockerbie Academy site

The former Lockerbie school was purchased in 2011 by Rosefield Salvage Ltd and the buildings were demolished shortly after, leaving a pile of rubble in its wake.

The locally dubbed ‘eyesore’ has long been a cause for concern and campaigns in the town, however the council are unable to force the owners into action.

Annandale North Councillor Gail Macgregor has previously admitted that she regretted the Lockerbie Academy deal.

Speaking at a community council meeting earlier this year, she said: “We have learnt from this. At the time myself, and former cocunillor Ted Brown thought we were getting a good deal when the site was sold.

“We realise now that we should have made cleaning up the site a requirement.”

Richmond Wight Estates, owners of Moffat Manor Caravan Park, in Beattock, are rumoured to be the purchasers of the Moffat land.

The company declined to comment, but earlier this year the caravan park was put on the market and a spokeswoman hinted that the move was likely.

She said: “The company is now diversifying its portfolio into hotels and residential homes. .

“Other investments in Moffat have been secured and will be released in the near future.”

Mr Thompson has revealed that the purchaser will not be made public until the transaction has been concluded.