Developers lining up bids for Cowal ‘ghost village’
July 5, 2012
A COWAL ‘ghost village’ has attracted keen interest from four potential developers ahead of a deadline for offers later this month.
Polphail, near Portavadie – built during the North Sea oil boom of the 1970s to accommodate 500 rig construction workers – has lain empty for more than 35 years.
But the sprawling 25-acre site – expected to sell for less than £1 million – could be set for a new lease of life as a 21st century housing development.
Selling agent Harry Stott, of property management firm CKD Galbraith, told CowalCourier.com: “We have received four formal notes of interest so far, and a good handful of other parties have also been in touch regarding Polphail.
“It would be fair to say that the interest has come from investors and developers who have seen the potential of the site.
“I would envisage that, given its close proximity to the excellent Portavadie Marina, it could become a development of second or holiday homes for people.”
It is understood that part of the site previously had planning permission for five detached houses and also a demolition order, which have both now expired.
But Mr Stott said that planning officials at Argyll and Bute Council appear to be “fairly open” to suggestions.
The 1970s village was built at a cost of £3.3million and included 120 flats, a bar, canteen, games room and launderette.
But the houses were never occupied became the plan to build concrete platforms there was superseded by demand for steel rigs by the time Polphail was completed.
Mr Stott said: “We are inviting offers ahead of the 25 July closing date and would expect the property to achieve bids of well into the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“Obviously whoever takes on the property would incur considerable additional costs in demolishing the existing buildings.”
Mr Stott added: “The village has a fascinating and chequered history mired by financial scandal when it was originally built – but there is something about the property that really captures the imagination.
“If you can see beyond the dereliction, Polphail occupies a fantastic position overlooking Loch Fyne with views towards the Mull of Kintyre.
“It has huge potential as a development site.”