Barra still waiting for pitch appeal decision

Barra FC’s current training facilities at Tangusdale

Eight months after hearing an appeal into an asset transfer on Barra the Scottish Government has still not made a decision on what would be the first use of the Community Empowerment Act in Scotland.

In April the Free Press was told that Scottish Government reporter Trevor Croft was “still preparing” his report into an application, using the Act, from the Barra Sports Forum to take ownership of a piece of derelict land in Castlebay. The forum want to build its own all-weather pitch there because, say members, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has repeatedly refused requests to provide one.

Last week a spokeswoman for planning minister Kevin Stewart said: “The reporter is currently preparing his report and recommendations to Scottish Ministers, who will make the final decision on this appeal. We don’t have any further information on the anticipated timescale at this point.”

Last year the comhairle rejected the forum’s application for an asset transfer of the land. The appeal to the Scottish Government was the subject of a hearing on Barra in March, during which Mr Croft said he was “shocked” to learn that the island had been waiting almost 40 years for an all-weather pitch.

Article by Michael Russell