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Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
New twist in Cuillins sale
Cuillins
John MacLeod wants 10m for the Cuillins
The owner of the Cuillins on Skye has offered to halt the controversial sale of the mountain range if the government foots the repair bill for Dunvegan Castle.

John Macleod, chief of the of Macleod Clan, has welcomed the Crown Estate Commission's decision not to challenge his legal ownership of the Cuillins.

Mr Macleod put the range on the market for 10m, saying he needed the money to repair his home.

He said he was open to starting talks with the authorities about how the bill could be met.

The clan chief "shared the hurt" being felt about the prospect of the world-famous Cuillins being sold and he was the last person who wanted to see them change hands.

John MacLeod
John MacLeod: Offer proposed
But Mr Macleod insisted he had little option but to sell unless the government considered funding the work.

Historic Scotland has already offered several hundred thousand pounds over a number of years, but he said it was insufficient and time was running out for the ancient building.

A number of prospective buyers, including Americans, are believed to have expressed interest in the mountains.

The Crown Estate Commission launched an investigation after amid fierce criticism of the asking price from environmental groups and residents on Skye.

Doubts were raised about the ownership of the mountains and commissioners pledged to investigate.

But the commission's inquiry concluded that any legal action to establish Crown ownership of the range would have little prospect of success.

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See also:

18 Jul 00 | Scotland
Cuillins ownership fight ruled out
18 May 00 | Scotland
Cuillins sale title inquiry
06 Apr 00 | Scotland
Cuillins bidder reluctant to pay
26 Mar 00 | Scotland
Clan chief urged to donate peak
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