Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) have raised their concerns over the long term future of Stonehaven’s Recreation Grounds.
STP have said that for over a year they have been expressing their concern and fears that a ‘valuable asset could be lost to the town if safeguards are not put in place.’
The Long Leases (Scotland) 2012 Act which is due to come into effect at the end of November will see the nine trustees of the recreation grounds come into ownership of grounds.
In a press release to the Mearns Leader STP said: “Whilst STP has no concerns with the integrity and intentions of the current Trustees, it does however believe that the people of Stonehaven must look to the future and ensure that the Recreational Grounds continue to be operated for the maximum enjoyment and benefit of all in the local community.”
STP have said that their fear focuses on what could happen if the Trust got into financial difficulty.
The release added: “The fear is that, should this happen, it is possible that any appointed administrators could legally sell off the land for the best monetary value with no future limitation on recreational use. Another potential scenario is a hostile takeover of the Trust with the intention of developing the site in a manner which might not be good for the community.”
Chair of STP Douglas Samways said: “STP is not convinced that there are sufficient safeguards in place to ensure the long term future of the Recreation Grounds and to enable this valuable community asset to continue to operate for the benefit of the people of Stonehaven. These safeguards need to be in place as a matter of urgency and certainly before November 28, the date of transfer of ownership of the Recreation Grounds from the council to the existing Trustees.”