HCWG has submitted applications to the Scottish Government to register a community interest in sites at Cumberland Avenue and Castle Woods, Helensburgh. If the applications are approved, they would enable HCWG to trigger the ‘Community Right to Buy’ provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, should the current owners decide to sell. These important powers were only extended to urban Scotland in April 2016. Consequently, HCWG is one of the first community bodies in an urban area within Scotland to seek to take advantage of this legislation.
David Adams, HCWG Convenor said “There has been a long history of controversy around these sites as the current owners have relentlessly, but unsuccessfully, tried to persuade Argyll and Bute Council to set aside well-established environmental protections and allow the sites to be developed for housing. In the meantime, local residents have become increasingly concerned at the way in which the owners have allowed the condition of both sites to deteriorate. HCWG now intends to offer them a brighter future. Applying to register a community interest is the first step towards bringing them into community ownership. HCWG is determined to transform Castle Woods and the land at Cumberland Avenue into community woodlands that will provide real environmental assets for the people of Helensburgh.”