Caol police station in line for redevelopment

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A funeral director has expressed an interest in redeveloping the former Kilmallie police station building in Caol.
The closing date for offers or notes of interest on the property is Wednesday March 22.
The police could not confirm who the interested buyer was due to the private commercial nature of this information. However, Peter O’Neill, a director at John McLellan Funeral Directors, confirmed the company had applied to the Highland Council to see if it would get planning permission for a change of use into a chapel of rest for use prior to a funeral.
A spokesperson for Graham and Sibbald, Inverness, the estate agents responsible for the sale of the former police station, said the property has been on the market since December 2016 and that this relatively short market period was requested by the client Police Scotland.
The station opened in 2007 when three nearby single-officer stations were closed. Northern Constabulary approved the construction of a new Fort William police station on Blar Mhor in March 2012, less than a mile away, and it was then its Joint Police Board decided to close and sell the Caol station. The new police and ambulance station opened in February 2014.
In November 2015, the Scottish Police Authority Finance and Investment Committee agreed the station was ‘surplus to the operational requirements’ and agreed to authorise Police Scotland Estates and legal personnel to dispose of it.
Ben Thompson, councillor for Caol and Mallaig, said: ‘I’d be delighted to see it back into regular use and all the better if it is of benefit to the community.’
Under Scottish legislation, it is possible to submit a note of interest and apply for planning permission before committing to putting in an offer, providing the landowner is notified about the planning permission application.
This means multiple planning applications could potentially be approved and then it would come down to whichever successful applicant’s offer was accepted by the seller.
However, the Highland Council confirmed there was currently only one application and that its target date for determination of the application is May 6 this year. Its spokesperson added no recommendation has been made at this stage.