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  • Writer's pictureEsther Clark

December Update

SAVEBritainsHeritage have published a press release: Scottish MSPs call for halt to potential Ayr Station Hotel demolition, which can be found HERE.

Their press release shows the Roundtable where local MSPs met to discuss the issue of the Station Hotel, its heritage importance, aesthetic value and what could be done to preserve it. MSPs state that: “We support these aspirations and agree that the possible loss of Ayr Station Hotel would be a huge blow for Ayr’s and Scotland’s heritage. We resolved to seek Government intervention to assist the Council with achieving an outcome which benefits the people of Ayr and the heritage of the town.” The key message is now: “the need for proactive and transparent action that considers all outcomes for the Station Hotel while securing public safety” and “avoiding hasty decisions on demolition.”

Ayr Development Trust has not been going long but is fully constituted, we can take a look at any neglected privately owned building in Ayr Town Centre. As the Station Hotel is at risk, we sought legal advice from an Advocate which as a Trust, we can do without having to have a Solicitor under Faculty of Advocate rules. David Coughtry put me in touch with Advocate Louise Cockburn whose advice was to obtain a second opinion Report on the Station Hotel post fire from a company of equal stature to the one SAVE had commissioned from Ed Morton. She said that two top class Reports would sway any Court. She gave me two names. An MSP Paul Sweeney at the Roundtable Meeting at Holyrood, hosted by Carol Mochan MSP, gave me two names. We have arranged for Narro Associates, mentioned by both, to do a second opinion Report for a token fee.We have asked about an Interdict and possible Judicial Review. We have evidence to support the contention that there has been neglect and possibly worse by South Ayrshire Council who have shown a lack of care when responsible for the security and safety of the building once it had issued the Dangerous Building Notice in March 2018. Despite numerous unauthorised intrusions by filmmakers on several occasions, by squatters and students and by young men who set fire to the abandoned Network Rail ticket office in May 2013. There was a fire in early October which severely damaged this B Listed (3 B listings) building.

We are working through exactly what we can do to minimise the loss to Ayr in architectural terms and maximise what we have left. Ayr Development Trust has a public meeting on Thursday 07 December at 7.30pm in Ayr Baptist Church where the Station Hotel will be discussed along with other buildings of interest.

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