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Stornoway Airport has obtained a court order against Melbost and Brahanhuie crofters who accused the airfield operator of “squatting” on their land.
The crofters legally control the the airfield site following the outcome of a recent Scottish Land Court decision which declared the land was never taken out of crofting tenure when their forebearers allowed it to be used as a military base during WW2.
That means Hial do not own the airport while adjacent villages actually hold the rights.
However, the company Hial, is appealing that decision at the Court of Session.
The situation was inflamed over the past few days when the grazings committee wrote to the airport and other businesses sited on the land, advising them they were “squatting.”
They requested proposals to “regularise your organisation’s position and to remove your organisation from the category of sqatter.”
Antagonised by the move, Hial today obtained an interim interdict from Lord Armstrong at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
The court order prevents the grazing committee taking any action to interfere with the occupation of land by tenants at Stornoway Airport or do anything which might risk the safe operation of Stornoway Airport.
Crofters previously urged Hial to meet with them to discuss how the airport can continue to run alongside crofting activity.
Inglis Lyon, Hial managing director said: “We are disappointed that the actions of the Melbost and Brahanhuie grazings committee have required us to seek an interim interdict.
“We have said all along that our intention in developing this land has always been to facilitate the creation of affordable, high-quality homes that would benefit local people.
“Our priority at Hial is to maintain safety and airport operations and the order issued today preserves the status quo until the appeal is heard.”
According to Mr Lyon, Hial has sought to “engage constructively with the grazings committee and has offered to meet with all involved to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.
“Whilst, to date, this offer has not been accepted, it nonetheless remains open.”
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Wondered if id ever see the day.