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Objections lodged to Academy flats plan

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By Fiona Reid
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Objections lodged to Academy flats plan

PROPOSALS to create a retirement community at the ex Moffat Academy have received at least four objections.

Richmond Wight Estates, who are the owners of Moffat Manor Holiday Park in Beattock, recently revealed their plans to transform the old school site into 41 flats for over 55s.

However it was revealed at this week’s Moffat Community Council that several formal objections to the proposal had been lodged.

Speaking at the meeting, council official Robert Duncan explained that due to the number of complaints the planning permission could be delayed until after the May 2017 council elections.

He said: “We are talking about a decision probably being made in summer time. “The opportunity to raise concerns for the general public has now passed, but the community council still have time if they have any issues they want to raise or object.”

Previously the company revealed that they hoped to open a sales office and show apartment in summer 2017. Managing director of Richmond Wight Estates Chek Whyte was unavailable to make comment on the objections yesterday.

But earlier this week he issued a call for other business owners to stand firm on developing Moffat, its buildings and its town centre Mr Whyte also acquired the Black Bull Inn recently and is soon to start developing it into a 15 bedroom boutique hotel with a gastro pub, outdoor seating area and whisky bar.

He will oversee the new business with his son Charlie and he said: “We believe we have the necessary skills and vision to do justice to this project, and aim to create a food and leisure offering which will attract visitors and foodies to Moffat from all over the Scottish Central belt, the North West and North East of England and as far as Yorkshire and the Midlands.

“This is a beautiful part of Scotland with much to offer the visitor.”

He added: “Through taking the helm at Moffat Manor Holiday Park over the last few years, we have got to know the local community and made many business connections, as well as friends, in this area.

“We see the potential this area has and we are happy to invest heavily in our new project at Moffat Academy, as well as this new venture at The Black Bull.

“We wish to thank the local planners who are working with us to fulfil these ambitions.”

Meanwhile Mr Whyte outlined that he was in discussions withalocal restaurateur about partnering them to run the food offering at The Black Bull.

He said: “We expect to haveagood relationship with the boutique gin bar next door to us. “Both gin and whisky bars are massively in vogue at the moment and will drive trade to the town.”

Mr Whyte also added that he felt more local businesses should be putting their faith into Moffat town centre.

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