Church asked to explore alternative Auchinlee avenues

Auchinlee in its unkempt grounds.

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By Mark Davey and Saffron Coffield

A potential Auchinlee buyer with an alternative use suggestion has struggled to speak to a Church of Scotland decision maker.

The 27 ensuite bedroomed former care home is on the market for £250,000 and despite the agents, D M Hall, setting a closing date of July 27, it appears there has been no offer.

David Avery, 54, says he has a plan which would allow the community garden, established at the rear of the building, to continue.

Mr Avery, who moved to Kintyre from New Zealand, said: ‘Since Auchinlee was put on the market I have approached Anthony Zdanowicz, D M Hall’s associate handling the sale for CrossReach and the Church of Scotland , to ask whether they would consider alternative proposals or a project.

‘The biggest problem I have found is the Church of Scotland’s unwillingness to explore alternatives, discuss possibilities, my proposal or even to talk to someone who makes the decisions.’

In an email to the Courier last week, Mr Zdanowicz said: ‘I have offers currently with my client for consideration and instructions and I hope to have it ‘under offer’ very soon.’

The property dates back to the late 1800s and has three floors, with a two storey extension on the east side.

It also has a tree lined driveway which leads to the private car park, and a large garden area surrounding the building.

The home offered full time personal care for people over the age of  65 and specialised in accommodating residents who suffered from dementia.

The closure of Auchinlee, earlier this year, was controversial as it was one of only two residential homes providing dementia care in Kintyre.

Two councillors, John Armour and Donald Kelly, think the Church of Scotland should return sale proceeds to Campbeltown to help fund elderly care.

Mr Armour said: ‘I think the price is what it is and is only what buyers are willing to bid for a building in need of repair.

‘It is a pity that none of the money raised from the sale will be kept in Campbeltown to help fund care for our elderly people.’

Mr Kelly added: : ‘We have insufficient facilities in Kintyre  to meet the needs of all our elderly.

‘I have consistently argued that more needs to be done to provide a facility  which meets the needs of our ever ageing  population.

‘It would be ideal if the purchase price could be gifted to the community as a good start to funding a new facility.’