Hopes have been raised that the 25-year saga of a large north-east family home that has been reduced to a shell could soon be entering its final stages.
Brae Lossie stands on one of Moray’s most desirable streets with panoramic views stretching along the coastline.
However, the grand Prospect Terrace building has been neglected since its final resident died in the 1990s – leading to the home being hit by several fires and becoming a home to squatters.
It is understood that the property was inherited by the previous owners’ son, who is believed to live in the US.
Now Moray Council has published an advert advising that it will shortly submit a bid to Scottish Ministers for powers to complete a compulsory purchase of the house.
Heldon and Laich councillor John Cowe has campaigned for action to be taken to end the misery for Brae Lossie neighbours since being elected seven years ago.
He said: “It’s brilliant that at last we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t envisage the ministers will have any objections, it’s an eyesore.
“This has been a difficult and challenging case for the council’s legal team because the owner has been difficult to communicate with – he will make contact on occasion and then break off again. He’s got the opportunity to object now like anybody else.
“There’s certain to be a lot of interest in it when it eventually goes on the market. I hope it becomes a family home once again.”
The dilapidated home has attracted interest from visitors taking in the views from the hill, many of whom have knocked on the doors of neighbours to trace the owners themselves to place an offer.
It is understood that some locals have stopped answering their doors to requests due to the amount of callers.
Moray Council has already drawn up an order to purchase the site for the purposes of “redevelopment and improvement” – it is not known whether the home will be sold in its current state of whether it will be demolished.
The advert states: “The order is about to be submitted to the Scottish Ministers for confirmation and comes into operation only if confirmed.”
The deadline to submit objections to Scottish Ministers about the compulsory purchase order is December 13.