Angus Council and Property Transactions
Recently The Dundee Courier reported a piece about Ballintore Castle being saved by Angus Council, the details from Angus Council are shown below.
Angus Council have a rather messy track record with property sales and I am attempting to find out the extent of this in relation to good management of tax payers money. I have asked for details of property tansactions using freedom of information law. I await a response. The Council past record includes sales of property in Forfar (St James House), Brechin (Flats) and recently Arbroath (Laundry) where the Council do not put prerty on the pen market, making pricate deals instead. St James House sale was forced to open market and this resulted in a huge increase in income for the property.
Angus Council Saves Historic Castle From Ruin
Balintore Castle, a magnificent Victorian building which has lain empty for more than forty years, has been saved from dereliction by Angus Council.
The council used its compulsory purchase powers to buy the castle and has now transferred ownership of the architectural treasure to a restoring buyer, who intends to live there. The building has deteriorated rapidly during the past few years and there were fears that the building might start to collapse unless remedial action was taken.
The ‘A’ listed Baronial sporting lodge lies in moorland a few miles north of the Loch of Lintrathen. The building was commissioned by David Lyon and designed in 1859 by architect William Burn. Kirriemuir firm James Watson constructed Balintore, which has a lively roofline made up of overhanging, wall-mounted turrets projecting from the walls of pseudo-ancient fortifications that characterise the Scottish Baronial style.
A grand, double height banqueting hall is the centre piece of the building and although the interior is in a state of some decay, there are the remains of Jacobean-style plaster ceilings. Old drawings of the castle show rooms with names such as the saloon, dinner service room, women servant’s sitting room, brushing room, beer cellar, lumber room, and butler’s pantry, as well as the drawing room, dining room and library.
The present structure might not the first building to occupy the elevated site, according to one of the first detailed maps of Scotland drawn up in the late 16th century by Timothy Pont. The Pont map covering Lintrathen area shows there existed a tower house named ‘Balintor’ Further survey work will be carried out to see if there is an older building buried within the existing castle.
The convener of Angus Council’s Infrastructure Services committee, Councillor David Selfridge, welcoming the move, said: “Balintore Castle is an important part of Scotland’s architectural heritage and was designed by one of the most prominent architects of the time.
“The council is pleased to have facilitated the transfer of ownership of this fine building to ensure that it will be restored for future generations. Where necessary, the council will consider the use of the powers available under the planning legislation to save other historic buildings in Angus.”
The Scottish Civic Trust Director Terry Levinthal said he was delighted that the castle had been saved.
He said: “Balintore Castle has appeared on the Buildings at Risk Register operated by SCT on behalf of Historic Scotland since the service began in 1990. Even though the house was abandoned in the 1960s, it retains an essential architectural quality that merits its classification as a category A-listed building, being of national importance.
“The Trust would commend Angus Council, and applaud its members and professional staff for taking this courageous action to rescue Balintore. We look forward to restoration proposals coming forward, and will be delighted when we can remove it from the Buildings at Risk register.”
Members of the public should note that the land around Balintore Castle is in private ownership. The condition of the castle’s interior is such that no-one should enter the building.