Port tenement sold

Buckingham Terrace in Port Bannatyne.
Buckingham Terrace in Port Bannatyne.

A dilapidated tenement building in Port Bannatyne has been sold to a Manchester-based businessman.

Buckingham Terrace in the village’s Castle Street has a chequered history.

Last year 2,000 cannabis plants were discovered in the building with an estimated street value of £900,000.

And the building itself has been the bane of neighbours’ lives for years with many residents concerned over its security and safety. The block has also had a number of owners over the years with development plans never fully getting off the ground.

At last month’s community council meeting in Port Bannatyne Village Hall, the subject of the building was raised with members of the public calling for its demolition.

Its new owner, James Burke, has given assurances that it will be fully developed, with 18 self-contained flats from the existing 23. Mr Burke said: “Releasing 18 flats straight into the market is perhaps over saturating things.

“We will start with the first block of six, then the next two blocks, and we’ve already got pre-sales for about four or six flats. Work will commence literally in no time at all once we have the consents from planners and buildings control,”

He continued: “Unfortunately I’m picking up the pieces of a failed project and I do have sympathy for the previous developers who’ve run aground. The market’s not brilliant, but we’ll be pitching a decent product for a decent price.”

Current work at the site extends to clearing rubble and making the property more secure with the installation of alarm systems and CCTV as last weekend the building was broken into.

Mr Burke has asked neighbours to please report any suspicious activity to the local police.

With 25 years’ experience in property development, Mr Burke is hopeful that the plans will provide affordable housing for locals or a second home for holidaymakers.

He intends to retain one of the flats for himself and his family to stay in, adding: “The island’s grown on me. Port Bannatyne with its wee marina is particularly nice so I’m looking forward to bringing my family here to see the place.”