Sporting chance of digging up a bargain

For Sale: renowned Scottish landmark, source of the granite that made Aberdeen famous and is used in buildings from the New York Opera House to the Titanic Memorial. It could be a water sports centre. Or a leisure destination. The seven-acre site close to the plush west end is surely a bargain at just £30,000.

But there's another description. For Sale: an abandoned 466ft hole filled with water, no use to man nor beast and likely to face a blizzard of planning restrictions. The best that Alex Robb, the chartered surveyor charged with selling it, can come up with is "intriguing possibilities". Much the same could be said of the Antarctic. Or the Gobi desert.

Any buyer would need to have a fired imagination and ace negotiating skills with planners to convert this site into a leisure attraction. But this is not the first time the Rubislaw quarry has well hidden its charms. It was sold by the council in 1789 for just 13 as it was not thought to be a source of good building material. It went on to yield six million tonnes of raw, sparkling granite.

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Perhaps ice-making equipment could be lowered into the hole with the frozen water providing a permanent national bonspiel. Or it could be sold to Donald Trump as his Nineteenth Hole. Or it could be fenced off, declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest and sold to a Scottish heritage quango for the requisite sparkling millions.