News that a notorious Loanhead eyesore has been put up for sale after lying empty for years has been welcomed by the local community.
Mayburn House on Hawthorn Gardents has been put up for sale by owner Joseph Croan-Bee, who purchased the former care home in 2014 from the Church of Scotland. Currently on the market through Colliers Estates, no asking price has been set.
Mr Croan-Bee, who runs a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) at the nearby former Inveravon Hotel, bought the building with the intention of turning the property into a dwelling house for himself. However, the property remains empty and boarded up.
Locals have long been angry about the state of the building on one of the main routes into the town, with rubble and damaged cars strewn around the front of the building until 2017 when Midlothian Council took action.
Loanhead Community Council chairman Pat Kenny is delighted it is up for sale.
He said: “We at the community council are over the moon. It has been a thorn in everyone’s side in Loanhead. It’s been an eyesore for years. Everyone was disgusted with the state of it. The council took ages to get rid of the cars through a legal process.
“Hopefully now someone can take it on and make it something we can be proud of in the community. Maybe knock it down and make better use of the site.
“Perhaps the council could take it on for social housing.”
Mr Kenny is open to the idea of some kind of community buyout of the building. He said: “I certainly think it’s something we could talk about at the Federation of Community Councils for some kind of community project. It would be nice to have a look inside.
“We are just delighted it’s up for sale. Hopefully a buyer comes along and puts it to use instead of it just being empty.”
Mayburn House owner Joseph Croan-Bee declined the opportunity to comment on the sale at this time.
A Midlothian Council spokesperson said: “The Housing Service actively considers the purchase of land and property if it provides a cost-effective opportunity to provide additional council housing as part of the programme to build an additional 1,000 council houses.”
Mayburn House is not the only well-known Loanhead premises up for sale at the moment. Two long-established businesses in the town are also up for sale – the newsagents (John’s) in Dalum Drive, on the market for £100,000, and Mario’s fish and chip shop on The Loan, valued at £395,000.