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Derelict Helmsdale filling station changes hands


By Caroline McMorran

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A LONG derelict filling station site in Helmsdale has changed hands yet again, it has emerged.

Members of Helmsdale Community Council were informed of the sale at their meeting at Helmsdale Community Centre on Thursday, February 1.

The site contains a semi-derelict timber built kiosk, fuel pumps and underground tanks.
The site contains a semi-derelict timber built kiosk, fuel pumps and underground tanks.

The service station, located on the A9 at Stafford Street, closed in 2008 due to falling fuel sales and the need to reinvest in its infrastructure.

It had been independently run for almost 70 years by three generations of the family business A R McLeod & Sons.

Alexander McLeod established the filling station in Green Park, a mile south of the village, in the 1930s. It was then run by his son James, who moved it to the Stafford Street site in 1972 and most recently by grandson Ian McLeod.

The closure meant that there was no fuel outlet on a 42-mile stretch of the trunk road between Brora and Thrumster in Caithness.

An extensive community consultation undertaken in 2010 identified the reopening of the filling station as a top priority.

Helmsdale and District Development Trust hoped to purchase and reopen the filling station and an application for planning consent was submitted in 2015.

Planning permission was granted in 2016, but the project did not go ahead.

At the community council meeting, secretary John Whitfield told members the station had changed hands several times since then.

He said: “The former petrol station is under new ownership - it must have had five different owners in recent years.The new owner has been in contact with us and said he was looking for funding to open the filling station.”

But community council member Barbara Jappy, who is also a director of Helmsdale and District Development Trust said: “They need not bother. The development trust looked into it and it was not going to be feasible to reopen it.”

The filling station site is around 0.105 acres and contains a semi-derelict timber built kiosk together with fuel pumps and underground tanks.

Offers over £37,500 were invited for the site.

Located off the A9 on Stafford Street site extends to around 0.105 acres and contains a semi-derelict timber built kiosk together with fuel pumps and underground tanks.

Planning permission was granted in January 2016 for the refurbishment of the existing petrol station and associated works, but this has recently lapsed.

It is understood offers over £37,500 were invited for the site.

https://www.northern-times.co.uk/news/community-project-on-right-road-to-reopen-filling-station-154257/


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