Saltcoats tower blocks to be retained in North Ayrshire demolition plan

The two tower blocks in Saltcoats will be upgraded under the new proposals

North Ayrshire Council has amended plans to demolish all its high rise tower blocks following the conclusion of extensive consultation with residents.

Under the new proposals, five tower blocks in Irvine will all be demolished and replaced, while the two high flats in Saltcoats will be retained and upgraded.

The six-week engagement drew to a close on May 2, with 82% of tenants and residents taking part.

Taking on board the views of those who live in the tower blocks, two key recommendations will be made to North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet on June 19:

  • To rehouse the 275 households in Fullarton, Irvine, before demolishing the five tower blocks and building replacement housing on-site and elsewhere in Irvine by late 2023.
  • Not to proceed with the demolition of the two Saltcoats tower blocks. Instead, detailed proposals will be developed to upgrade the two buildings, which will include the installation of sprinklers.
  • High rise flats in Irvine are still set to be demolished

    North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane said: “First and foremost, I want to thank all of the residents who took part in the consultation.

    “We said from the outset that we would listen to what the residents wanted and these proposals reflect their wishes.

    “In Irvine, the tenants were strongly in favour of the plans which would see them rehoused and the tower blocks demolished. This would allow a major regeneration of the Fullarton area with affordable and energy efficient homes built there alongside new, high-quality housing in other parts of Irvine.

    “The results in Saltcoats showed just under two-thirds of households wanted to keep the high flats and that’s why the proposal there is not to proceed with demolition. Instead, council officers will consider potential costs and timetables of an improvements programme before having further consultation with both the tenants and the flat owners.

    “If these proposals are approved at Cabinet, then I believe it represents one of the most ambitious housing projects in Scotland which has the power to really change our tenants’ lives for the better.”

    Council leader Joe Cullinane at the Fullarton High Flats in Irvine

    Results from the consultation showed that in Irvine, 215 households responded to the consultation out of the 275 properties. 66% of favoured demolition of the tower blocks with 32% favouring retention of the blocks. 2% stated no preference.

    In Saltcoats, 79 out of 94 households responded, with 65% in favour of retaining the two tower blocks with 34% choosing the option for demolition. 1% stated no preference.

    The results of the consultation means that a recommendation will now be put before Cabinet on June 19 to demolish the tower blocks in Irvine and retain those in Saltcoats.

    If the proposals are approved, council officers will immediately begin to develop a programme for the work, with the aim of keeping residents fully informed throughout.

    In Irvine, it is proposed that housing officers will engage with the minority of households who did not want to see the tower blocks demolished to talk further about their individual concerns and how the council can help.

    In addition, senior officers from the housing team will hold meetings with tenants and residents in both Irvine and in Saltcoats to discuss the outcome of the consultation.

    The Saltcoats meeting will be held on Monday, 14 May, in Saltcoats Town Hall.

    The Irvine meeting will be held on Tuesday, 15 May, in the Fullarton Community Hub, Irvine.

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