The Pairc Trust, the community body who are trying to buy Pairc Estate on behalf of the residents and crofters of South Lochs in Lewis, announced that arrangements for a postal ballot to vote on the terms of an Amicable Estate Transfer have had to be called off.
The reason is that it has not been possible to finalise the detailed documentation of the terms of the proposed purchase of the Estate by Friday 7th March as originally intended. Copies were to have been made available for inspection by voters, and a ‘drop-in’ meeting to answer questions was arranged.
Angus McDowall, Chairman of Pairc Trust, said: “We very much regret that it has not been possible to finalise the detailed documentation by the due date, and in these circumstances we have no option but to call off the ballot.
“We are still discussing some key issues with Pairc Estate. If these can be satisfactorily resolved in the next few weeks, we will make the details available to the community and arrange another ballot. If it is not possible to resolve the issues, we will have to abandon the Amicable Estate Transfer route and rely on the Courts to determine the outcome of our applications to buy the Estate under Part 3 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act.”
The arrangements for a ballot were made following approval for the Amicable Estate Transfer approach in principle at a public meeting in November 2013.
Detailed documentation of the terms of the proposed transfer was to have been made available by the afternoon of Friday 7th March. Ballot papers, already issued by the Comhairle to those entitled to vote, were to have been returned by Thursday 13th March.