Public meeting on future of Biggar’s Moat Park

Moat Park...Biggar Museum Trust has called a meeting on Monday to discuss plans for its future
Moat Park...Biggar Museum Trust has called a meeting on Monday to discuss plans for its future

BIGGAR Museum Trust has called a public meeting for tomorrow night, Monday October 27 at 6.30pm, to discuss the future of Moat Park,

As the Gazette has reported in recent weeks, there are plans to turn the former church into a pub, restaurant and brewery, now the Museum is moving out.

The developer, Biggar Little Brewery Ltd, said up to 25 quality jobs would be created.

But opposition has been growing steadily, with a row erupting at the idea of having such a use of the building.

The Trust, which is selling Moat Park Heritage Centre, has now called a public meeting, in St Mary’s Hall on Monday evening.

This week the plans appeared to face a further obstacle, in the form of a legal document, dating back from 1980, when the Church of Scotland handed over the kirk to Biggar Museum Trust to convert into a Heritage Centre.

This agreement appears to contain a condition that Moat Park would NEVER be used as a licensed premises.

The document is cited in an objection sent to South Lanarkshire Council by Doctors Catherine Weir and Donald McIntyre, who live near Moat Park.

In the objection, they said: “The deeds detailing the sale of the site, from the Moat Park Church of Scotland Congregation to the Museum Trustees in 1980, contains a section on “Prior Prohibition of Sale or Keeping for Sale of Alcoholic Liquor.”

“The deeds indicate that the sale of Moat Park Church was arranged with the condition that the building ‘shall never be occupied or used or be permitted by the feuars to be occupied or used for the sale or keeping for sale of alcoholic liquour.”

There is a further clause which indicates that the blessing of the Church of Scotland might still be required for any new use of the building.

And it could block plans it feels would be “detrimental to the neighbourhood” which includes the still-active Biggar Kirk nearby.

Biggar Little Brewery Ltd is understood to remain confident it can answer the worries of all the objectors, hoping to make its case that the new complex would be an asset to Biggar, as a whole.