Site of former Rothesay church ‘should be clear this month’

The demolition of Rothesay's former West Church, and the clearing of rubble from the site, could be complete by the end of April.
The demolition of Rothesay's former West Church, and the clearing of rubble from the site, could be complete by the end of April.

Demolition of Rothesay’s former West Church, and removal of the resulting rubble, should be complete by the end of this month, according to one Bute councillor.

Local contractors moved in to demolish the dangerous structure in December, and as of this week there was almost nothing of the original structure left, with only a large heap of stone awaiting removal.

Councillor Robert Macintyre told a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Bute and Cowal area committee: “I understand at least one local firm is keen to take as much of the rubble as we can give them.

“Three options are being considered regarding paying for the transport of rubble off the site, but we want it all out of the road by the end of April.”

The weather vane which formerly sat at the top of the West Church steeple is to be donated to Bute Museum for display.

The property, which was first used as a church in 1847, had been fenced off on safety grounds since November 2014 after the council’s building control officials expressed concern at the sagging roof.

The building was last used as a church in 1978, and had lain empty and increasingly derelict since the mid-1980s.

Efforts to track down the building’s owner proved fruitless and an attempt to save the building for future community use came to nothing; council officials decided last September that demolition was the only suitable course of action because of its dangerous condition.

Bute councillor Len Scoullar told Cllr Macintyre: “The building was privately owned, but the company that owned it went into liquidation the day after you contacted them to say it was dangerous.

“It was dangerous, and so we had to take it down. It wasn’t a choice thing.

“It is the intention of the council’s legal services department to take over the ground that is left once demolition is complete and the rubble is cleared.”