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Developer ups ante with £400k 11th hour bid to save Inglis Court in Edzell from wrecking ball

Mark Guild has offered £400,000 for Inglis Court in Edzell.
Mark Guild has offered £400,000 for Inglis Court in Edzell.

An Angus developer has mounted a last-ditch £400,000 bid to save a one-time village sheltered housing complex.

Mark Guild has come in with the six-figure offer for Inglis Court in Edzell as the empty homes await the demolition squad.

The Forfar-based housebuilder had a previous £250k offer knocked back by Angus Council.

The authority is to demolish the 25 homes and replace them with 21 new properties in a £3.5 million redevelopment.

Waste of money

Critics have branded the project a waste of public money.

The council’s own planners also questioned the wisdom of knocking down the houses.

A leading councillor has said he believes the council should ditch the redevelopment plan and accept the Guild Homes cash.

Development standards vice-convener Gavin Nicol had to leave the meeting which considered the council’s own planning application for the complex.

“I had expressed my views about this project and as the stand-in chairman for that meeting I was advised not to take part,” said the Brechin and Edzell Conservative councillor.

“Personally I think this is best value for everyone.

“It is better than the council plan to knock it down and I think we should re-think this and accept the offer,” he said.

Although the houses remain in good condition, council chiefs say the previously popular homes had fallen out of favour.

A community survey carried out by Mr Guild showed overwhelming support in Edzell for Inglis Court to be retained and redeveloped.

However, the survey outcome led to a planning meeting clash between Mr Guild and Montrose councillor Bill Duff.

Comments made by Mr Duff about the veracity of the survey have led to Mr Guild lodging an ethical standards commission complaint about the councillor’s “lack of respect”.

Mr Guild said: “Our first offer in August last year was submitted in an attempt to demonstrate to the council and elected members the value of the building they were proposing to demolish.

“We hoped they would look at it and consider whether they were doing the right thing.

“We also presented the results of our community survey showing overwhelming local support for keeping Inglis Court.

“But that didn’t suit their purposes and instead we were basically accused by one councillor of making the results up.”

Return to sheltered housing

He says Guild Homes would look to upgrade the existing complex and then work with a sheltered housing or retirement housing provider to run the complex.

“I’m well aware Inglis Court is not for sale,” said Mr Guild.

“But I’m also aware that nearly 100% of the people in Edzell who we spoke to don’t want to see it demolished.

“That is what’s driving this. The public expect better.

“These are people on big wages and they are making big mistakes” said Mr Guild.

He previously fought a successful Court of Session battle over Forfar’s Lochside leisure centre.

Its fate will be decided later this month.

A community sports trust is hoping to take over the building, which judges declared a common good asset.

He added: “They just decide to knock down this and that.

“They would never do it with their own money, so why do it with public money – that’s my beef.”

Angus Council has been asked for a response to Mr Guild’s offer.

The council is also yet to confirm if a demolition date has been set for Inglis Court.

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