No progress for Castle Tioram

6 August 2007

There has been no progress from the SNP Scottish Executive on taking the issue of Castle Tioram forward, a Parliamentary reply to Labour's Highlands and Islands MSP, Peter Peacock has revealed.

Peter Peacock said, "This is an extremely disappointing reply and shows the SNP Executive has changed nothing, despite the indications from their own MSPs that things would change if they were in power.

"Given the past statements of Fergus Ewing on this issue, I fully expected the new Minister to have told her Officials to get on with speaking to Anta Estates, encouraging them to submit a new application so she could approve it.

"But nothing has happened and it looks like nothing is likely to happen.

"It is being left for the applicant to once again start the same old laborious application process, the same old approach of Historic Scotland who, in my view, will give the same advice and again try to block the productive use of this wonderful building, just as they have done for many years past.

"So much for the new approach promised by the SNP and hoped for by Lex Brown of Anta Estates.

"A whole new approach to historic buildings is required, but already the Minister is pumping out answers to questions drafted no doubt by Historic Scotland itself, which indicate its business as usual and carte blanche to Historic Scotland to block sensible development in the Highlands and Islands.

"I will be urging the Minister to meet Lex Brown and listen to him and his aspirations and encouraging her thereafter to instruct her Officials to get on with finding an answer to the better use of this building.

"I can only hope for better to come, but so far it doesn't look likely."

 

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