Dunkeld residents Chris Claydon and Scott Trotter have had their no-fault eviction notice from the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) withdrawn and will be able to remain in the property they have called home for 18 years.
On Friday residents and friends gathered outside the property to protest the decision and hand an open letter, signed over 150 times, to representatives from the National Trust for Scotland. On Tuesday the couple received and email informing them of the decision to withdraw the eviction notice.
Speaking with Heartland FM, Ms Claydon told us how much of a relief it was to receive that email saying: “Well actually its quite incredible, it’s been unbelievably stressful, we’ve had thirteen weeks of this now, you know little sleep, constant worry. I’ve been crying everyday really and so to hear that wasn’t happening anymore it was an enormous relief, its actually just starting to sink in now and its Friday so it’s taken a wee while.
“But yes I can’t tell you how relived we both are and now we just need to get our lives back on track we’ve, you know, focused on nothing but this for thirteen weeks and its had quite a devastating impact on our lives and its remarkable to think we can get back to normal now.”
The National Trust for Scotland sent out an email to inform the community council and all other interested parties on Tuesday which included a statement from Stuart Maxwell, the National Trust for Scotland’s Regional Director for Edinburgh and the East of Scotland which reads: “My colleagues spent time with the tenants and explained that we had already doubled the notice period to give them more time to find suitable alternative accommodation. They in turn told us that in current market conditions they were finding such accommodation very difficult to find.
“While the repairs are essential and it’s unavoidable that they must be carried out at some point, there is no immediate risk to either the tenants or the structure.
“We will therefore postpone the repairs to give the tenants time to find somewhere else to live, or we ourselves are in a position to offer a vacant property for temporary use, with the opportunity for them to return to the original tenancy once works are complete.”
While the news of the eviction withdrawal is fantastic news the whole process leaves some questions still to be answered. Scott Trotter speaking about the ordeal said: “The NTS have put us through 13 weeks of unnecessary stress and worry and have now reverted to the original position of monitoring the cracks. There remain questions to be answered about the way in which this situation was escalated by the NTS, and we look forward to receiving a commitment, and timeline, to being able to stay in our home.”
The news of the resolution has been met positively from the community with John Ferguson who presented the letter to the representatives saying: “Very pleased to see this outcome of a vexing community issue. Evictions are never pleasant matters, especially when they are completely unfounded. I hope this marks a transition in NTS policy towards recognising one of their fundamental objectives of securing community benefits across the complex range of their functions.”
With Lachlan MacEwan the Chair of the Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council adding “We are pleased to see the beginning of a resolution to this situation. We look forward to meeting with the NTS soon to discuss how we can work more closely with them in the future for the benefit of the Dunkeld & Birnam community”
Throughout this the community and friends of the couple have rallied behind them and showed their support and Ms Claydon showing her appreciation of all the support said: “Scott and I would like to thank absolutely everyone that supported us, whether it was kind words of support, the signing of the letter or turning up on the day of the protest.
“It’s great to see what we can achieve when we all come together as a community.”
While questions over a timescale and the escalation of monitoring cracks to eviction and back again need to be answered for now Chris Claydon and Scott Trotter can relax and begin the process of getting their lives back to normal knowing the threat of eviction is no more.