*Mountain of Debt 1 2002-06-18Posted by clype in Scotland.
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A Scottish mountain range which is popular with climbers is expected to be sold shortly to a mystery U.S. American buyer. 'Black Cuillins' mountain range on the Isle of Skye was put on sale two years ago by Clan Chief John Macleod of Macleod in order to pay for repairs to 'Dunvegan Castle'.
The 90.25 km2 estate has been in the Macleod family for 1 000 years. The clan chief has reportedly said a deal has almost been clinched with the U.S. American, who has been described as a 'land collector'. The deal, for more than 6 million GBP, is expected to be completed within the next two months or possibly earlier. 'Macleod Estate' chief executive John Lambert said:
'I'm fairly hopeful that we will conclude a deal by the end of summer; I would have thought in the next couple of months. 'I am hopeful that it's closer than that, but when you are left with lawyers, things take longer than anticipated'.
The sale of the mountain range has been forced on Macleod to help pay for roof repairs to 'Dunvegan Castle', the 800-year-old family seat. The new owner would enjoy unparalleled views including 9 km of coastline, Skye's highest peak, 'Sgurr Alasdair' (993 m) and 11 'Munroes' with peaks of more than 900 m.
The decision to sell the land sparked controversy in 2000-03 with protests from land reformers, hill walkers and conservationists who said the area, which boasts spectacular flora and fauna, would be at the mercy of an absentee landowner.