Highlands & Islands

Pairc Estate buyout: Fresh row between landowner Barry Lomas and tenants

A fresh war of words has broken out between a landowner and his crofting tenants on Lewis.

Residents on the Pairc Estate are pursuing a hostile buyout, claiming that absentee owner Barry Lomas has neglected the area.

He has previously gone to the courts to try to stop the takeover.

Lemington Spa-based Mr Lomas told BBC Alba's Eorpa programme that he had done his best to bring investment into the area and work with the community.

He said he had not been trying to sabotage attempts to reach a negotiated buyout.

Mr Lomas said: "It isn't really true that there has been stalling going on on the estate's behalf.

"The reality is we have sat down, we have discussed terms and the terms are ready and waiting to be funded."

He added: "We are ready and waiting on Pairc Trust to be ready to pull in the last bit of funding to actually clinch the deal."

Human rights

The Pairc Trust has expressed disappointment at Mr Lomas' comments and accused him of misrepresenting its position at a vital stage in the negotiations.

In 2011, Scottish ministers approved a bid by the crofting community to take over the land.

Mr Lomas' Pairc Crofters Ltd and one of its tenants, Pairc Renewables, appealed against the decision at Stornoway Sheriff Court.

An element of the appeal was that Scotland's right-to-buy legislation infringed Mr Lomas' human rights

In December last year, three judges sitting at the Court of Session in Edinburgh threw out this claim.

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