A Forfar businessman is threatening court action to block the demolition of the town’s former Lochside leisure centre after his five-figure bid for the building was knocked back.
Hotelier Donald Stewart has said he will raise an interim interdict against Angus Council after councillors voted to press on with the wrecking ball plan for the empty centre in the latest controversial twist to the saga.
The owner of Forfar’s town centre Royal Hotel has repeatedly declined to reveal the size of his offer but it is understood to be in the order of £30,000.
Mr Stewart was the sole interested party to lodge a cash bid for the boarded-up premises.
He has vowed the fight is far from over in pursuit of his plan to transform it into a cinema, trampoline park and restaurant.
Councillors voted to have the centre – closed two years ago after the creation of Forfar’s multi-million pound community campus. – razed to the ground during an emergency item added to last week’s full council meeting,
Mr Stewart said: “I am going to instruct my legal adviser to raise an interim interdict to prevent them touching the centre.
“My offer has not been considered in a proper legal manner by the council.
“There are a number of legal issues which will be the basis of my interdict application.
“I can assure you the wrecking ball will not be going near the centre for a considerable time, perhaps not at all.”
On the issue of the sum offered, he said: “Quite frankly it matters not what the offer is but at this stage it will remain private.”
A so-called green paper item, detailing the bid, is understood to have been prepared for councillors last week in the event of a decision in favour of a possible sale.
It would have been considered in private, but the outcome of the initial vote consigned it to the bin.
Forfar’s four town councillors have declined to comment on the potential legal action or the size of the bid made for the centre, which will cost close to half a million pounds to clear.
Administration members Ian McLaren and Braden Davy voted against demolition, with SNP figure Lynne Devine in favour of knocking it down.
Councillor Colin Brown was not allowed to participate in the discussion after declaring an interest in the matter due to previous involvement.
Last Thursday’s vote was the second time councillors agreed the building should be flattened.
The bulldozers were due to move in “almost immediately” after policy and resources committee members paved the way last May for its demolition.
An Angus Council spokesman said: “We have not received any correspondence of this kind as yet and it would be inappropriate to make comment or conjecture in the circumstances.”