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Pairc community votes to pursue amicable land buyout     22/11/13

Local residents of South Lochs, Lewis, and other members of Pairc Trust present at a community meeting in Gravir yesterday evening voted to proceed with the amicable purchase option to buy the Pairc Estate.

Of the 60 people present, 56 voted in favour (with 4 abstentions) to draw up the necessary legal documentation to purchase the land and interposed lease from the Pairc Estate for the sum of £500,000. An offer will be made to Pairc Estate immediately. Before the documents are signed, Pairc Trust will consult the community again on the precise terms through community meetings and a ballot.

At the meeting, Angus McDowall, chairman of Pairc Trust, outlined the terms of an amicable purchase negotiated with Pairc Estate, and the alternative of asking the Scottish Government to bring back to the Courts the landlord’s appeal against the Government’s approval of a community buyout under Part 3 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act.  

Although an amicable purchase of £500,000 would likely be more expensive than a purchase achieved through the Part 3 route, Pairc Trust were confident that this could be 100% funded by the Scottish Land Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and their existing resources.

An amicable purchase also offers a quicker and more certain purchase with community ownership of almost the whole estate, avoiding the complication of having two different landlords.

It also provides more control over the lease for renewable energy development, with a much higher return to the community.