Rothesay church demolition move under fire

Work on the partial demolition of Rothesay's former West Church is well under way.
Work on the partial demolition of Rothesay's former West Church is well under way.

The founder of a campaign group set up to save a long-derelict former Rothesay church has hit out at the decision to partially demolish it.

Richard Whitcomb of the West Kirk Rothesay Preservation Group said the decision - taken in private by Argyll and Bute Council’s Bute and Cowal area committee earlier this month - went against the same council’s attempts to preserve and enhance Rothesay’s built heritage.

“The decision was taken in private with no supporting evidence other than it is now ‘unsafe’,” Mr Whitcomb said.

“We are told that there is no community support for saving the building and that ‘the majority of people’ (that one councillor claims to have spoken to) wanted it demolished.

“But how does the decision to demolish the building sit with the same council decision to support a second Townscape Heritage bid which – and you couldn’t make it up – is likely to run from the town centre out towards the Pavilion, itself subject to restoration.

“For anyone that does not know, the Rothesay West Church is situated between the two within the proposed TH2.”

* Read Mr Whitcomb’s views in full in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, September 17.