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Owner tells pub bidders ‘no room for you at inn’

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A Christmas card has been sent out by the development company trying to buy a local pub.

But the inn-keeper said yesterday there was no festive cheer contained in the greetings card and claimed he was the victim of a vendetta to oust him.

Earlier this year, people in the Arisaig area of Lochaber set up PH38 Development Company with the aim of ensuring that the hostelries in the area “welcomed local people and contributed to the local economy”.

The pub the group has its sights on – if and when the owner decides to sell up – is the Glenuig Inn.

However, its initial application to register an interest in the premises was declined by Scottish Ministers and some locals seemed to believe that to be the end of the project.

But George Clark, of Roshven, a director of the development company – which is named after its postcode – said this was not the case.

He added that it had sent a Christmas card to all PH38 households wishing them “merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year”, thanking them for their support and updating them on progress.

The card states: “Things may have appeared quiet, but the wheels have been turning continuously and our amended application now contains the information required and will be submitted in the New Year.

“We are also now in the position to raise funding to further our community project. With your continued support, this is a very achievable goal, so please keep up the support.”

But inn owner Steve Macfarlane stressed yesterday that he would not be selling it to the local community. He said: “This is all part of a personal vendetta against me. The community buyout has failed. Their attempt to register an application for a community right to buy was declined by Scottish Ministers.”

Mr Macfarlane has made a significant investment in the inn since he bought it in December 2007 and turned it into a profitable business. But he said yesterday that local people had boycotted the premises for six-and-a-half years.

Mr Macfarlane said: “They are trying to destroy my business so they can get it on the cheap, but it will never, ever happen.”

Mr Clark could not be contacted for comment on this allegation.

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