A community group seeking to convert a derelict farm into a vibrant outdoor sports centre looks likely to have its bid blocked by councillors.
Kilmory Woodlands wants to lease part of Kilmory Home Farm in Lochgilphead to provide sports facilities including a rugby pitch, running track, shooting targets and BMX tracks.
But in a two-pronged attack on the plans, Argyll and Bute Council officials say they are both unconvinced the scheme can be delivered and concerned it could adversely impact proposals for an industrial estate.
Under the group’s plan, the old sawmill building within the grounds of Argyll and Bute Council’s headquarters would be transformed into a sports pavilion.
It is seeking the 99-year-lease for the part of the farm housing the building for the nominal sum of just £1 per year.
An asset transfer request for the council land is due to be considered by a sub committee of the authority’s policy and resources committee on Tuesday.
But the council’s executive director for commercial services, Douglas Hendry – in accordance with the opinion of the Asset Transfer Group (ATG) – has recommended the committee refuse the request.
In his report to the committee, Mr Hendry writes that the ATG found that there was too little information to give confidence the plans could be delivered.
He said: “It is not clear whether anticipated funding sources have been applied for – and none have been awarded.
“The request has not adequately identified relevant costs, including initial investment, ongoing running costs and end of project costs, or how the project will be funded in the future.”
Mr Hendry adds that there is currently no access to the site, which is “crucial” to the development.
The ground has been identified as surplus to requirements and is zoned for community use.
However he points out: “It is integral to the development of the Kilmory Industrial Estate as set out in the council’s framework concept masterplan 2015.
“The benefits to be achieved by the request would be outweighed by the proposal potentially adversely affect and jeopardise the development of the industrial estate.
“As part of that development the service require to retain rights of way to enable the installation of power and water to allow for the development set out in the plan, and as the plan is revisited and amended as required in relation of the layout of the phases, some of the land may be required to be incorporated into the development plan.”
The idea for new sports facilities was born when Lochgilphead Community Council commissioned an action plan for the town.
Improvements to forest paths, cycle trails and signage were identified as areas for action.
A survey by Mid Argyll Youth Development Services found that there is a shortage of sporting facilities in Mid Argyll.
The local athletics, rugby and shooting clubs all require a suitable area of ground.