A Scottish bridging company is selling the site of a former remand centre in a last ditch attempt to raise finances.
Munro Bridging Finance Ltd is selling the 8.5 acre piece of land in Lanarkshire, where the infamous Longriggend Remand Centre once stood. There is no set asking price as of yet.
Munro took over ownership of the land when one of its clients defaulted on a loan. The company has now gone into administration and has little choice but to sell the plot. In reality though, it is unlikely that the land’s plagued history will increase its value or entice developers.
Before the remand centre was closed in 2000, it housed young men awaiting trial. The conditions within the centre were so dire that inspectors branded it “grossly unsatisfactory” and a “power keg of frustration”.
In 1988 the inmates organised a rooftop riot, where they tried their best to let the world know the conditions they were being kept in. Across the windows, metal grilles had been left un-cleaned for decades and contained excrement, debris and other atrocities.
After the centre was finally closed down the building was left empty for five years and soon attracted drug users and squatters.
It was finally knocked down in 2005 and has only attracted one developer to ask for planning permission since. St Andrew’s Homes Scotland Ltd wanted to build 240 homes and seven commercial units but their planning application was refused for environmental reasons. In particular, the council were concerned about effects on the local geese.
The planning advisor reported to the council that “the determining issues in this case were whether the proposed development would be a justified and sustainable development in the countryside and whether the impact on the Bean Geese in the Slammanan Plateau special protection area would be acceptable.”
After determining that the protection was not ‘acceptable’, the application was refused. But since then the council seems to have changed its positioning and is hoping that a developer will improve the site.
Local councillor Sophia Coyle said: “The way the site has been left to rot for umpteen years has been devastating to the local people and to me as a councillor.
“I hope whoever eventually buys the land will build houses and a community facility, because Upperton desperately needs it.”