Four remote police stations earmarked to be sold should be returned to their former use, an MSP has urged.
Police Scotland last year identified 53 stations they wanted to put on the market, the majority of which were vacant.
After a massive public consultation exercise they have now approved the sale of 49, while a further review will now take place for Lairg, Dunvegan, Broadford and Lochboisdale, the only one which still houses officers.
Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant has called on Police Scotland to reopen the vacant buildings as police stations.
She said: “Police Scotland need to rise to the challenge and decide on the future of these four properties.
“I would urge them to consider returning them as police stations with officers or civilian staff based there. Perhaps they could also be used for other community-led projects.
“While I am satisfied that there has been agreement with regards to 49 police properties, I do hope that the public will be listened to with regards their views in relation to the four identified properties where agreement has not been reached, especially since they are located in rural scattered communities.
“I would just ask the communities of the identified locations to make their views known by means of the public consultation before the new closing date.”
When Police Scotland announced the review they said 43 of the 53 buildings were currently empty, many for several years.
Twelve properties were considered for closure in the Highlands and Islands, as well as nine across north-east Scotland.
Police Scotland said that the future of the stations at Lairg, Dunvegan, Broadford and Lochboisdale will be reviewed again, with further consultation taking place until until August 3.
Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr claimed the consultation was “clearly skewed to achieve a certain outcome” because it did not include the option of keeping them open.
He said: “To suggest the majority of people back police stations being sold off is shockingly misleading.
“Anyone who properly analyses these results will understandably conclude this was a dishonest and ultimately worthless consultation.”
Police Scotland said selling the stations would generate around £7 million.
Colette Sherry, Police Scotland’s head of commercial services, said: “The consultation has had a significant amount of response.
“We’ve listened to the feedback and are recommending that four properties are actually stalled for now and we will continue to work with communities and find a way in which we can either use that property or agree that disposal might be the best outcome.”
The Police Scotland Consultation shows that four of the 53 properties did not secure local support for potential disposal – all located with the Highlands and Islands division.
The Lairg station has been empty since 2011 and is still occasionally used by officers when on patrol or for refreshment break. The nearest police station is Golspie, 18 miles away.
Dunvegan has lain empty since 2013 but again, like Lairg, is occasionally been used by officers on patrol. The nearest station is Portree, 21 miles away.
Lochboisdale is currently used by two officers and the intention was to liaise with the fire service with a view to relocating into the local fire station.
Broadford police services are located within a service centre, with Kyle of Lochalsh being the nearest station almost nine miles away.
A Police Scotland report said: “There is community support from the consultation that the properties should be retained.
“We will seek to identify how these four properties could be better used to enhance local service provision or indeed reach mutual agreement with the communities that these properties are, in fact, no longer required.”