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“Eyesore” Lochaber police station could come back into use

Caol and Mallaig councillor Bill Clark
Caol and Mallaig councillor Bill Clark

A former Lochaber police station branded an “eyesore” could come back into use as a chapel of rest if planning permission is granted.

The former police office in Kilmallie Road, Caol, has not been used for many years.

But now, local funeral directors John McLellan and Co have applied to Highland Council to change it into a chapel of rest.

The news was welcomed by locals last night.

Caol and Mallaig councillor Bill Clark said the building is “long past its sell-by date”.

He added: “The old police station is becoming dilapidated and is a bit of an eyesore. I believe its purpose originally was for interviewing people, but it simply wasn’t in use regularly and buildings need to be used – they need to have a purpose.

“I feel it’s important that the people of Caol come forward with suggestions as to how it should be used.”

A local resident described the building as a “white elephant”.

He said: “There was never anybody in it.

“Someone should make use of the building as it is a good size.

“I’m delighted that it could have a change of use and I hope something comes of it.

“The building really is a white elephant and it would be great if it was improved.”

John McLellan and Co is based in Dudley Road, Fort William, where there is a small chapel of rest.

Director, Scot Greenlees said: “No closing date has been set on the application yet. The police station in Caol is unoccupied, but we are going to see how the change of use plans go first of all before we make any further decisions.”

The plans would transform the former police station building show two floors.

The chapel of rest, foyer, an office and disabled toilet would be on the ground level with another office, toilet and vacant attic space on the first floor.

The proposals also include velux windows on the upper level and a ramp for disabled access at the ground floor entrance.

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