Garve Hotel - registering a community interestPost in Community Ownership by Lucy Beattie
This is a great loss to the economic prosperity of the area overall, but the loss of jobs is the hardest loss for many residents of our area. According to Am Baile the hotel has a long history as an Inn and it was in the hands of the MacKenzie family (ancestors of Hilary Gordon, Postmistress of Garve) until 1966 (see image below).
Back in November The Garve & District Development Company asked their members and the wider community if a community right to buy (CRTB) interest should be registered in the Garve Hotel and land adjacent to the Garve Public Hall. This arose from discussion and consultation regarding community assets in the district.
The question was raised on the back of recommendations made by Alan Jones and Associates who had carried out a Community Assets Feasibility Study in 2019 to look at all assets in community ownership in Garve and District and also look at potential assets that the community could invest in.
It was highlighted that the refurbishment of the Garve Public Hall was a community priority and that a register of interest on the adjoining land should be made to secure a right to buy should it ever come for sale which could improve the scope and potential for refurbishment.
The process started in December 2019 following the collection of signatures from community members in support of two motions:
- To register a community interest on an area of garden ground adjacent to the Garve Public Hall
- To register a community interest on land and subjects known as the Garve Hotel
The process of registration takes time to collect the required information from the Register of Sasines, ensure that the company memorandum and articles are compliant for the CRTB and that the correct mapping is in place. Before lockdown commenced the development company was just at the point of submitting an application to register an interest.
Development Officers were in touch with the hotel owners to see if they would consider a sale of the land adjacent to the hall before registering the community interest.
Initially, the directors of Hart Hotels said they would not consider a sale; but in the early Spring they intimated their tour operation business had shut due to COVID19 and they had to focus on the immediate challenges of COVID19. Sales particulars were released in early May and news of the sale was circulated.
With regard to the Community Right to Buy (CRTB) now that the hotel is for sale a different application known as a “non-timeous application" can be submitted. The requirements of this application are somewhat different and when the full detail of this is known we will let the community know how they can support the process to move it forward, if that is what they wish. In the meantime, two key offices that supply supporting information to deal with CRTB applications are closed so the process may take longer than it would under normal circumstances.
As ever, garve.org hub, our onb-line communityhub, is a place for co-creation and ideas. Please do use this space to add your comments, ideas and suggestions regarding this.