The state of Rosebank Church was discussed again at the recent joint meeting of West and Suburban Community Councils.
Brian Stewart of the Westies led on the item:
"A lot of people all over the town are bothered about the fact that Rosebank Church is being left in a state of near dereliction and nothing appears to have happened for months apart from the stripping off of the valuable slates. So we have been in dialogue with the relevant bit of Highland Council since about last October to try and establish what they as the local authority are doing to encourage or persuade the owner of that building to attend to it. At the very least to keep it in a good state and to stop in crumbling into a heap and ideally to go ahead with the work that he has already got permission to do to modify and convert it. I have to say, in summary, that the exchange of correspondence we have had with Highland Council officials, and it’s the Heritage and Planning people, has not been terribly inspiring. We have been pressing them to exert pressure on the owner of Rosebank Church to grip it and do stuff and the Council's responses are full of reasons why it’s terribly difficult […] we and River Community Council are both trying to exert what pressure, influence and persuasive powers we can to get something done about Rosebank Church.”
Graham Kerr then asked if there was any way to sue the Council.
“On what topic?” asked the Chair Rosemary Young.
”Failing to act,” replied Graham.
”No,” was the simultaneous and emphatic response from Brian Stewart and Rosemary, who added “but you can have a go yourself.”
Colin then said: “I really appreciate the pressure that’s kept on there because it helps us as Councillors to move things to the next stage and the next stage but I’d just ask Brian: What specific thing should the Council do legally to make something happen? There are things you could do that would change the scenario but as far as I’m aware there isn’t anything they are empowered to do that would actually…”
Rosemary then intervened: “I read somewhere that they can…”
Brian then too intervened: “The can require development to begin and…”
Colin came back into it then: “Is he out with his time limits?”
“Yes,” stated Brian. “His three year deadline expired at the end of January.”