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First urban community right to buy given go-ahead

10 May 2017

A community group in Edinburgh is set to become the first urban body to exercise the community right to buy powers in the land reform legislation.

Scottish Ministers have given consent to Action Porty to proceed with the community right to buy of the former Portobello Old Parish Church and halls with a view to transforming it into a multi-use community hub.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which introduced the right to buy for communities n rural areas, was extended in 2015 to cover all of Scotland.

Ian Cooke, director of Action Porty Director, said: "We are delighted to be the first urban community to use the community right to buy, but sincerely hope that we will be the first of many. Given the commercial interest in the property, it is highly unlikely that the community would have been able to acquire the Bellfield site without this support.”

David Robertson, Secretary to the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, added: “Agreeing a settlement with Action Porty for its purchase of the former Portobello Old Parish Church and halls was a straightforward process under the legislation.

“The General Trustees are always willing to consider community purchase proposals for other redundant properties that are presented to them. Each case would be judged on its own merits bearing in mind the trustees’ obligations as stewards of charity assets."


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