Next week the Council will try for a third time to sell Comsiton Farmhouse (83 Pentland View, Edinburgh EH10 6PT). This saga began well before I was elected, but I hope this time it will happen and the future of this local landmark will be secured.
A number of bids were received, with “Burgh Developments” coming out on top with a bid of £1,350,000. They propose to retain the main farmhouse building and convert it into 3 flats. In addition, 6 mews style properties will be developed in the grounds to the rear (see plan). All this would be subject to planning permission.
The 5th ranked bid was for £1,001,001 and this came from – Cohousing in Southern Scotland (CHOISS). This group, which has some local support, proposed that the Farmhouse will be developed into “communal accommodation consisting of living/dining areas, kitchen and visitors’ bedrooms”. To the rear a main accommodation block would be developed in a range of accommodation and sizes with around ten dwellings envisaged.
The Council say – “The offer submitted by CHOISS is subject to a number of conditions, including potential deductions for adverse ground conditions, including if a culvert needs relocated (£150,000) and the condition of the farmhouse. In addition, the offer is subject to funding. The offer is therefore subject to a degree of risk whereby the headline price could be reduced further as the conditions are purified. These risks are greater when compared to Bid 1, which does not propose deductions for abnormal costs nor is it subject to funding.”
I am open to the CHOISS bid, *BUT* I would have to be assured that the total benefits it provides exceed that of Burgh Developments and that they have a firm timeline for progressing the development. So far this is not clear, so I feel the Committee should support a sale to Burgh Developments. I think this is the quickest are surest way of bringing the site back into use.
CHOISS’s offer does, however, have value and I am hopeful they can learn from this and find an alternative property to progress their plans.