New council policy to look to disposal of ‘iconic’ buildings

Keith Institute – an ‘iconic’ building – or just a building?

ICONIC MORAY BUILDINGS could be mothballed or even demolished unless there is a real desire in local communities to look after them.

Councillors have this week approved a new policy document looking at how the region should deal with unused assets – buildings that are no longer required by Moray Council.

At a meeting of the policy and resources committee on Tuesday, the corporate director for the local authority, Mark Palmer, told councillors: “There are some assets that do not fit within the council’s priorities and we need a process to deal with these.

“We do have buildings that fit the description and we are looking to work formally with communities on community asset transfer opportunities.”

Under the new policy buildings that are deemed by the Council or communities to serve no purpose would be further investigated before a final decision on their future would be taken.

Leader of the Council, Stewart Cree, said that the local authority will continue to do “anything we possibly can to ensure iconic buildings remain in use”, adding that a difficulty will arise when no use can be identified – then a decision would need to be made on their future.

Convener Alan Wright doubted, however, that the word ‘iconic’ should even be used for many of the buildings: “This is a much over-used word nowadays.”

A work plan will now be formed by a council asset management group to decide on if properties have a council use in future.

Several buildings in the region have already been taken over by Community Asset Transfer while there are concerns over several others.

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