Comiston Farmhouse to be protected after being saved from demolition

Campaigners: Simon Newton, Jason Rust and Liz Sim. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Campaigners: Simon Newton, Jason Rust and Liz Sim. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A farmhouse saved from demolition by campaigners will be protected when the site is finally sold on to developers.

Pentland View Close Support Unit in Comiston was shut in January 2015 and put by for sale by the city council. After a planning application that included the farm building being destroyed was rejected – the authority put the site up for sale once again.

Comiston Farmhouse has been saved. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Comiston Farmhouse has been saved. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

At the closing date for bids in July this year, the council had received 11 bids. Councillors were set to agree to appoint Buckley Building UK as the preferred bidder – but the decision was delayed after Thurdsay’s Finance and Resources Committee was adjourned because it ran out of time. The decision will now be taken on Monday, October 22.

The committee is set to agree the transfer to the company, which will retain the main farmhouse building and convert it into four flats. Four detached properties will be developed in the grounds to the rear of the farmhouse.

Labour Cllr Scott Arthur said: “After a long campaign, the local community managed to save Comiston farmhouse from demolition in October of last year. Since that time myself and local residents have been working to secure the future of this important local landmark.

“I am therefore delighted that the council has been able to find a developer who is both willing to retain the farmhouse and offer a substantial sum for the site to the council. Myself and local residents look forward to working with Buckley Building to fully develop their plans.”

Conservative Cllr Jason Rust welcomed closure to the speculation over the future of the community site. He said: “This has been quite a saga and it is disappointing the length of time it has taken to reach this point, but I am pleased with this outcome which is far preferable to the previous proposals for development.

“It is positive that latterly the council has been engaging with the community and the retention of the farmhouse building and the recent tree preservation orders give an added element of protection for the site. I believe the recommended bid is generally compatible with the vicinity.”

It is thought the bid by Buckley Building UK will provide the council with a capital receipt in the region of £1.15 million along with the authority’s corporate property and legal costs being paid by the company.

Last year, plans to knock down the 150-year-old farmhouse, a historic relic of the old Comiston Estate, and build 37 flats was rejected by city councillors.

Developers Chamberlain and Bell appealed the decision in the hope the Scottish Government planning reporter would overturn the decision – but the government’s principal reporter Dan Jackman dismissed the proposal as being contrary to the city’s development plan.