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  • Esther Clark

July Update



The latest news is that the Council plans early action and a Memorandum of Understanding is being prepared by yet another consultancy firm. Meantime the Record reports that the Council leader is indicating, in the Record anyway, a plan to demolish if the owner Mr Ung does not come to an agreement towards a resolution within 6 months. This doesn't sound correct but that's what it says.


Please see below my letter to the Ayrshire Post, meantime I am trying to arrange a public meeting at the end of August in Ayr Town Hall to see what NetworkRail and the Council have got to say, by presenting their Memorandum of Understanding and explaining what their plans are.


Letter to Ayrshire Post of 8 July, 2022.


Dear Editor,


Ayr Station, the fourth busiest in Scotland has no amenities like waiting rooms, toilets, restaurants/ cafe etc. and I gather did not upgrade disabled facilities deliberately because the owner, NetworkRail (NR) did not want them until it got a new Glass & Steel Station. That is why we have had to carry cases up and down stairs. That investment of lift and bridge alone would have been £2m according to their NR representative who met me four years ago.


Funnily enough I contacted the station owners NetworkRail (NR) and got a visitor from Abellio which ran the trains who could tell me how much a new station would cost, how long it would last etc. NR has spent no money on upgrading over the years but millions on portacabins for staff as a temporary measure. They also failed to facilitate the owner in 2013 who wanted to do more repairs than repointing the Front Elevation but was denied access by NR. The Dangerous Building Notice of 2013 issued by SAC had 3 other faults which seem to be the same ones as now, but have got much bigger. I thought that the council were supposed to act to protect our Listed Buildings and ensure their own orders were carried out.


NR ought to refurbish their part of the property and build up community links so that the community could take over the social/community area and they NR only keep essential railway activity as they do in Wemyss Bay.


The hotel belongs to Mr Ung and almost sold a couple of years ago. It needs to sell to a private company, or go to a Heritage Trust. The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust offered a Back to Back agreement to develop if SAC did a Compulsory Purchase three years ago. Recently SAVE Britain's Heritage did a big evaluation (On Our May Update) indicating great value to be had from keeping and conserving the hotel. This report gave alternative plans for different options for the buildings.


I hope that the council will look afresh at this and the rest of Ayr Town Centre with a more open mind than before. I saw the 29 June council meeting online and I am not optimistic so far (https://south-ayrshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive). The discussion on Ayr Station Hotel is 2.5 hours roughly into the meeting.


Esther Clark








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