High rise flats in Ayr to be replaced with new accommodation
Councillors have taken the unanimous decision to demolish three multi-storey blocks at Riverside Place in Ayr and build a new development on the site.
Consultation and engagement with tenants living in the high rise flats saw 210 households participate in a survey which revealed that 111 (51.7%) of them supported the demolition of the existing flats, with 99 (46%) of households calling for the flats to be refurbished.
Councillors went with the majority of tenants which means that an estimated 90 new one and two bedroom apartments will be built. These new properties will be available in the first instance to existing tenants who have been displaced from Riverside Place and have expressed an interest in returning to this location.
This decision follows detailed intrusive technical surveys of the flats last year which revealed issues South Ayrshire Council was previously unaware of. This included timber window sections and panels which appear to date from the original 1969 structure of the building, as well as cavities exposed by cladding installation works in 1992.
The surveys indicated that the existing cladding system, external pitched roof covering and the windows would need to be replaced and this would require significant levels of investment.
An implementation plan will now go before councillors in November 2019; in the meantime housing staff will be in contact with the residents to discuss their needs and housing options.
The implementation plan will give more details on the needs and aspirations of tenants and this will help inform the timescales for the demolition and the new builds.
Councillor Philip Saxton, housing and community wellbeing portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: “This was not an easy decision to take but the amount of work required and the level of investment needed to refurbish the blocks, led us to consult with tenants to seek their views.
“New accommodation on the site allows the council to provide properties which are more accessible, in line with the latest building standards and can be adapted to suit the future needs of our tenants.
“In the meantime we will continue to support our tenants, and we will be writing to them to let them know that their living arrangements will not change in the short term.
“Over the coming weeks, housing officers will be speaking to those tenants who selected the option to refurbish. The officers will discuss their needs and other housing options.
“Throughout the process, housing officers will ensure that tenants are kept up to date and the implementation plan takes account of their needs and circumstances.”