Girvan’s McConnell Square to be demolished

McConnell Square in Girvan which is due to be demolished by March 2015.
McConnell Square in Girvan which is due to be demolished by March 2015.

The McConnell Square housing complex in Girvan is to be demolished by March next year after further discussions within the council.

South Ayrshire Council’s Leadership Panel agreed to demolish the Montgomerie Street building at a meeting on Tuesday 29 April, but concerns had been raised by Girvan and South Carrick Councillor Alec Clark.

Mr Clark called the item in to be discussed further at a meeting of the Community Services standing scrutiny panel on Wednesday, May 7.

However, that panel decided to uphold the leadership panel’s decision so the building will be knocked down by early 2015.

Mr Clark believed that the demand was there for one bedroom properties in Girvan and that a proper case hadn’t been put forward for the demoliton.

He told the panel: “This isn’t an old building, it was only built in 1975 so the condition of the building inside should be perfectly fine apart from the work the rendering needs.

“I believe that there is a demand for one bedroom units in Girvan.

“I spoke to Jim Whiston at Ayrshire Housing and he is also in no doubt that there is demand in the Carrick area for one bedroom units.”

Mr Clark also criticised the leadership panel’s decision to landbank the site for housing in order to carry out a long term consultation within the Girvan community to discuss what the site at McConnell Square could be used for.

He said: “That decision to me means that this could be kicked into the long grass.”

David Burns, South Ayrshire’s strategic service planning manager, did say different options had been considered but that the demand was much lower in Girvan compared to other towns in South Ayrshire and that resources needed to be allocated accordingly.

Currently, statistics show that there are 756 council houses within the town of Girvan with one fifth of these one bedroom properties (150).

On average 90 properties per year become vacant in Girvan and currently there are a total of 95 live housing applications from people who have expressed an interest in one bedroom accomodation in Girvan. Of the 95 applicants, 22 are seeking ground level accomodation and 30 are seeking sheltered accomodation meaning they’d be accomodated in Boyle Court and the Trust Housing Association facility at Old Street. The remaining 43 applicants would then be considered for bungalows or flats within the Girvan area.

Currently in South Ayrshire there are 1062 live housing applications in Ayr, 788 in Prestwick, 705 in the rural north areas, 395 in Troon, 189 in Maybole and 123 in the rural south area compared to 95 in Girvan giving a total of 3,357.