South Ayrshire councillors have made the unanimous decision following consultation with tenants living in the high-rise flats at Riverside Place. In total, 210 households participated in a survey with 111 (51.7%) of them supporting the demolition of the existing flats and 99 (46%) calling for the flats to be refurbished.
Councillors went with the preference of the majority of tenants, which means that an estimated 90 new one- and two-bedroom apartments will be built. The 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 the location.
This decision follows detailed intrusive surveys of the flats last year, which revealed issues the council had been 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 that this would require significant levels of investment.
An implementation plan will now go before councillors in November 2019.
Councillor Philip Saxton 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.”