Our last news release on the Community Right to Buy was relatively positive on our progress to date. Unfortunately it all came to a dead stop on Thursday 23 October 2008 when we were informed that the landowner had withdrawn from the sale. Apparently he was unhappy with the independent valuation.
The timing was not great. We had organised a community meeting to launch the Company's business plan and we received the news officially, from the Scottish Government only four hours before the meeting. We had also scheduled our community ballot under CRtB for the following Monday with the local Minister and the Chair of the Community Council acting as scrutineers. The directors, however, decided to go ahead with the meeting and despite the atrocious weather that night, 86% of the residents turned up or tendered apologies.
Roger Eastland chaired the meeting and started by explaining the events of the day and the fact that we would have to abandon the ballot. Jim Haluch and Mike Larkman then presented the business plan in considerable detail. They covered strategic and operational planning, detailed information on the running of the park, financial projections, the business structure and the full picture looking ahead to 2014. A summary of the plan was made available to the audience and to those who had not attended
The enthusiastic audience posed many perceptive questions but the tenor of the meeting was for the Company to pursue funding and indeed the purchase. A straw poll at the end of the meeting showed unanimous support for continuing the quest and pursuing the funding streams identified in the business plan.
Obviously the landowner has the final say in whether he wants to sell but the community still believes that self determination is the only way forward.