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Demolition prompts discussion

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By Newsdesk
Moffat
Demolition prompts discussion

AS the demolition of the Mercury Inn continues, community leaders are looking ahead to the next stage of the site’s redevelopment.

Fences were put up around the derelict site at the start of the month with plans for it to be completed by the end of March.

The eyesore building’s owners, Equorium Property Company Ltd (EPCL), a subsidiary of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, applied for and were granted permission from Dumfries and Galloway Council to bulldoze the inn back in November, at an estimated cost of up to £150,000.

EPCL have previously stated that they intend to turn the site into a car park once it is cleared – but now there is uncertainty amongst Moffat’s community councillors if and when that plan will come to fruition. Speaking at last week’s meeting of Moffat and District Community Council (MDCC), secretary Mick Barker said: “I think we’ll all be pleased to see the building come down. However the point I have to make is the demolition of the Mercury is not a destination, it’s merely a point on the journey to redevelopment of that site. So as one milestone is reached, the challenge for us all as a community is to say ‘well what happens next?’.

“So I can tell you that the company that owns the site has created one or more masterplans for the site over the years and the last time they shared that masterplan was in 2022 when they showed to Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning department. But nobody to the best of my knowledge within the community council or the community is aware of the full details of Equorium’s plans for that site.

“So as we reach one milestone, we head towards a process of trying to expose, discuss and consult what might come next. And I think ultimately that’s even more important to the community than just knocking the Mercury down.

“It’s ok to take a breath a the moment but over the next few weeks the hard work begins again to press on to say ‘what is the future for that site?’ and how is it going to enhance Moffat.”

  • Above: the site this week

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