A “GHOST village” on the west coast of Scotland, which has lain unoccupied for more than 35 years, has been sold for £250,000 to one of the country’s richest men.
Whisky tycoon Sandy Bulloch has snapped up Polphail at Portavadie in Argyll, which was built in the 1970s for construction workers.
The men were to move to the area to build concrete platforms for the North Sea oil industry. However, it turned out that most of the demand was for steel platforms, and the project was shelved with the homes left empty.
The 25-acre site, which cost £3.3 million to construct, overlooks Loch Fyne and is close to the Portavadie Marina complex. It was put up for sale this summer and has just been purchased by Mr Bulloch’s firm, Portavadie Forestry Limited.
The 85-year-old’s drinks empire includes the Glen Scotia distillery at Campbeltown and Loch Lomond Distillery Company. His family have an estimated fortune of £80m.
Mr Bulloch’s company plans to breathe new life into the area by demolishing the old oil workers’ houses and building new residential and commercial properties. Property consultants CKD Galbraith handled the sale on behalf of Brian Milne and Eileen Blackburn, of French Duncan, the joint administrators of the previous owners, Portavadie Village Limited.
Mr Milne said: “News that this land had been put up for sale generated a great deal of interest from a number of parties attracted by the potential of its location at Loch Fyne.
“The conclusion of its sale from administration delivers a successful outcome for all parties concerned and signals an end to the decades of this site earning the reputation as a ghost town.
“Portavadie Forestry Limited now plans to breathe new life into this site by demolishing the abandoned and dilapidated accommodation and embarking on an ambitious programme of investment, incorporating landscaping for a mixture of residential and commercial property development.”
The land comes complete with a bar, canteen and around 120 flats. It includes a games room and a communal launderette, which still contains a handful of washing machines covered in graffiti.
Over the past four decades, vandals have wrecked most of the interior furnishings of the houses, which were never occupied. Often referred to as the “ghost village”, the derelict site has attracted the attention of urban artists and documentary filmmakers.
In 2009, six street artists known as “Agents of Change” decorated Polphail’s walls, and the village featured in a short documentary film directed by Matt Lloyd, which premiered at the Inverness Film Festival.
Harry Stott, of CKD Galbraith, said: “The village has a fascinating and chequered history mired by financial scandal when it was originally built, but there is something about the property that really captures the imagination.
“If you can see beyond the dereliction, Polphail occupies a fantastic position overlooking Loch Fyne.”