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Energy firm eyes common good land

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Energy firm eyes common good land

A PIECE of common good land in Dumfries is set to be sold off to an energy company – unless a community group shows an interest in taking over it.

The 40 sq m chunk of land at Craigs Road, situated across the road from St Michael’s Primary School, has been identified as surplus to requirements by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Scottish Power Energy Networks are eyeing up the plot for housing a power substation, however a straightforward sale cannot take place legally due to the common good status of the land.

First, council chiefs have a legal obligation to consult with community groups in the area, and invite representations from community councils and bodies.

The matter is due to be discussed at Dumfries Common Good sub-committee on January 19 where councillors can share their opinions on the land disposal.

Council papers confirm that the local authority’s communities committee and strategic asset board have already agreed that the land is surplus to requirements and should be sold, but now the next step is being signed off by the common good sub-committee.

The report, due to be tabled at the sub-committee, reads: “The council owns the land at Craigs Road, Dumfries, extending to 40 square metres. The site forms part of a grassed area at the roundabout at Craigs Road and St Michael’s Street, Dumfries.

“In 1970 and 1971 a disposition was granted by Miss Annie Watson Kerr and Mrs Mary Ann Henderson in favour of the provost, magistrates and councillors of the Royal Burgh of Dumfries and is therefore common good.”

Due to their locations, Dumfries Baptist Church, Cresswell Community Centre, and Dumfries Men’s Shed are all to be consulted on the disposal of the surplus land.

The council report states: “Officers from property, estates and programmes will engage with these groups and feed back to Dumfries Common Good Fund sub-committee members through the ward officer’s monthly ward updates, should any representation be made.

“Should no representations be received, the process of disposing of this land by negotiated sale will continue to Scottish Power Energy Networks for the purposes of siting a sub-station thereon.”

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