Be assured that this idea is still under consideration and nothing has been finally decided, nor any possibility rejected.
We did subsidise members’ access to commercial remote telescopes in the past, for projects approved by Section Directors. The take-up was very low.
Any insistence on ‘research only’ is also likely to lead to very few people using any facility that is set up.
Variable star, cometary/asteroid and planetary research all have rather different hardware and software requirements.
So the whole thing is not straightforward, and, as has been pointed out, there are plenty of risks and pitfalls. But they could possibly be overcome.
In the next few months I wish to gather together ideas such as this, suggested by members, for ways of spending our funds to benefit observers. Ultimately Council will make a choice, and decide which, if any, projects to pursue.