Empty South Queensferry home bought with £775,000 of taxpayers money prompts local anger
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A four-bedroom South Queensferry cottage purchased by the Scottish Government with £775,000 of taxpayers money in 2012 has been lying empty for over a year, prompting calls for it to be used instead of falling into “rack and ruin”.
"The Fisheries”, situated to the west of the town at the start of the Hopetoun Estate, was purchased by the Scottish Government as part of works on the nearby Queensferry Crossing, which was opened in 2017. The home was never altered or demolished and is believed to have had tenants living in it up until June 2022. Since then, the property has been vandalised and has fallen into disrepair, prompting calls from locals to make use of the large home, possibly to house homeless people or to be used as a community facility.
The Scottish Government said options for the future use of the property are currently being considered and no decision has yet been made.
Local resident Anne Goswell told the Evening News that she and others would like to see the empty building used, particularly given it was purchased with taxpayers money. She said: “I went to the local estate agents about it but they knew nothing. I started digging a bit further and I found out it’s Gladstones Property Investment Managers in Dalkeith that’s dealing with it. I contacted them and they were very cagey as to what they are going to do about it.
"They rented it out until June last year. They are now not renting it out or selling it which I think is a crying shame as it’s a four bedroom bungalow. It would be great to see it used by they community, but it has been left empty. Locals feel the same way as me about it.
"The Scottish Government and Gladstones wont say what is happening, but taxpayers money was spent on that. It should be used for good. Homeless people could be housed in there. I wrote to the Scottish Government but they never replied to me.
“It’s right by the beach, with beautiful views of the bridges. It’s an amazing property, absolutely beautiful, with a big piece of land. It has huge potential. But it’s going to rack and ruin. Kids have broken into it and smashed windows.
"It could be used for older people possibly, as specialist units, or even as a nursery. But as it currently stands empty it’s just a waste of taxpayers money.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The property was acquired by agreement in connection with the Forth Replacement Crossing. Options for disposing of the property are currently being considered. As part of this process, we await an updated valuation from the District Valuation Office.”
Gladstones are unaware of any vandalism at the property and said that arrangements are in place to tidy up the garden. Adding that there was one broken window at the property due to a bird strike, and some water damage occurred earlier this year due to burst pipes.