Pairc Estate buyout: Deal to end dispute offered
A landowner has offered to end a legal battle with his tenants over ownership of his estate on Lewis.
Residents of the Pairc Estate have been pursuing a compulsory purchase of the area, a move the estate's owner Barry Lomas has challenged in the courts.
The crofters have now been offered almost all the land in a deal that would see the court case dropped.
However, the amount of money they would pay for the land would be higher than that involved in the hostile buyout.
Crofters will be asked at a meeting next week whether the community-run Pairc Trust should accept Mr Lomas' offer, or continue with the process of the compulsory purchase.
The landowner's deal would see the purchase take place as soon as funding was confirmed and the necessary legal documentation drawn up.
It would see the Pairc Trust take control of almost the whole estate and give the community more control of the lease of renewable energy developments on the land.
Areas of the estate the trust would not take over would include a site in Gravir earmarked for an electricity subsea cable converter station.
Also excluded from the purchase would be land close to between Eishken Lodge and Steimreway. Eishken Estate plans to buy that stretch of land.
The deal would bring an end to court action and also the uncertainty of fresh legal wrangling.
Funding is already in place for the compulsory purchase at a price that would be determined by an independent evaluation.
Pairc Trust would also be able to take control of more land through this course of action.