A developer has claimed that his plans to restore historic Craigend Castle in Mugdock Country Park are being blocked by council officials.
The castle was built in 1816 in Regency Gothic style. The developer, known as Mr David, wants to restore it as a residential property.
He estimates it would take six years to complete the work, but he claims Stirling and East Dunbartonshire councils are preventing the project from going ahead.
And he has launched a petition to gather support from people who want his plans to be given the green light.
No other offer has been made to re-develop the building and the developer says he can’t understand why his proposal has been refused, as he’s rovided all the information that’s been requested to show that his plans are viable.
The now derelict castle, which is the former site of Craigend Zoo, which was a major attraction at the park until 1955, has been up for sale since October 2012.
Mr David would like to start the work this summer and says his plans wouldn’t alter the building’s original exterior appearance too much.
He said: “For a building in this condition it is commercially unviable for anyone to take on due to the huge amount of work and cost.
“It’s listed status makes it particularly difficult to get any form of funding for it.
“The only way to restore it is to personally put a huge amount of work in and pay for it all.”
The developer has a history of restoration work and has nearly completed another complex project around half the size of the main castle building.
He added: “My concern is that this will be left to further deteriorate and end up being demolished to make way for a commercial use such as a hotel.
“Everyone I’ve asked in the vicinity wants to see the castle restored, and they’ve expressed preference that this be as a country house.
“People are concerned for the building and it’s fine detailing being lost, and the potential effect on the tranquility of the park if a hotel development was permitted.”
Councillor Eric Gotts, chair of the Mugdock Park joint management committee, said: “This is an important building with a proud past and no-one wants to see it brought back into productive use more than the committee.
“It is our job to scrutinise development proposals to ensure that its future is secured and that an appropriate use is found. We take advice throughout that process from experienced, senior officers in this field.
“Following lengthy consideration of his interest in the site and his thoughts on its development, we wrote to Mr David last month outlining in significant detail why we would not be proceeding.
“The board is looking for a proposal that confidently addresses the challenges presented by this building, not only because of its sheer scale but also because of its listed status. We are looking for plans and drawings that provide sufficient detail on how the project would unfold and we must be satisfied that proposals have been properly costed and that finances are in place.
“It is our public duty to progress only when these criteria have been met. We continue to explore other options and would be happy to consider more detailed proposals, business plan and funding packages from Mr David.
“We would like to reaffirm our commitment to finding the best possible solution for this once magnificent building.”
To sign the petition email - email@example.com