Holmehill Community Buyout

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The History of Holmehill

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1806 The history of the Holmehill estate starts with William Stirling (the first), 1772-1836. The Dictionary of Scottish Architects says he was "the eldest son of James Stirling, wright and cabinetmaker, who came of a long-established Dunblane merchant family which may have had landed connections. He commenced practice as an architect builder as his father's partner c.1798 ... From 1806 onwards Stirling began buying land and property around Dunblane and out of some eleven purchases created the small estate of Holmehill on which in 1826 he erected a fine Tudor mansionhouse". Barty gives a list of William Stirling's acquisitions (Barty 1944, pp 232-233).

1903 William Stirling's descendant Alexander sells the house and estate to James Templeton: the Templetons are carpet manufacturers in Glasgow. James Templeton is succeeded by Archibald Templeton, then Kenneth Templeton.

1939 The estate is bought by Mrs Grace Donaldson, formerly of Airthrey Castle. The Donaldsons were shipowners: the Donaldson Line was founded in 1855. Mrs Donaldson lived in the house until she died. In 1941 she passed part of the estate, the area that slopes down to Bogside and is known as "The Hieliemans", to Dunblane Council for the use of local children.

1962 Holmehill is sold to Stakis PLC, owners of the Dunblane Hydro hotel, which faces Holmehill across the Perth Road. The house is at first used for hotel staff, but latterly is left empty and becomes derelict.

1980 Demolition of the house.

1987 In return for planning permission being granted for the erection of 43 dwellings at Smithy Loan and Holmehill Court, Stakis PLC and Stirling District Council sign a "Section 75" agreement relating to the whole of Holmehill. The agreement is binding on any new owner. Under the agreement Stakis accepts that the land "shall never be used except as public pedestrian areas and public open space". One concession in the agreement was the possibility of an office development on the site of the former Holmehill House. (However, applications along these lines was refused planning permission in 2013 and 2016, by which time Holmehill was in the Dunblane Conservation Area).

1999 Stakis PLC sells both Holmehill and the Hydro to the Hilton group.

2005 Hilton sells the Hydro to the Stardon Group. Holmehill is advertised for sale separately. (Click here and here to see the sales particulars.) A public meeting is held to discuss the community's response, and a campaigning group is formed. This group subsequently becomes Holmehill Ltd., campaigning under the name of "Holmehill Community Buyout".

Onward Links:
William Stirling I
Section 75

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Content: 15th April 2017