RESIDENTS of Troon’s Portland Street are demanding action over a derelict building, claiming they have been plagued by pigeons and bad smells.

Kate McGuiness, who lives in the street, attended Troon Community Council last week and described her and her neighbour’s problems with a privately-owned shop below their property.

She explained: “In March, my neighbours and I contacted South Ayrshire Council to get something done about the derelict shop, number 86.

“Countless meetings, countless letters – we got to July 17 and the planning manager issued a letter to the owner for action to repair and maintain under the planning legislation as it can be seen as detrimental to the surrounding amenities.

“I was advised that a reasonable amount of time would pass. In that time, nothing had happened because to get into the building, the owner would have to push the rubbish out the way and that had been undisturbed – he bought it in 1998 and it has slowly disintegrated since then.

“Currently the pigeons are flying around inside and we get nasty smells in the close.

“It is a listed C building and when I wanted to put a vented slate onto the back of the roof for my shower room, I was asked to get planning permission to ensure I didn’t damage the historic integrity of the building and yet the front façade is allowed to go to rack and ruin.

"Building Standards have sent letters to the owner to get access to check the safety matters – if there is damp – we are quite worried that there is sewage in it now after a problem we had over the weekend but we don’t know this for certain.

“What we worry about is the environment issues – like the cleanliness. I think it is downright insanitary and yet Environmental Health says that because it is a private building, they can ask for access but they can’t insist.”

Neighbour Mary MacIntosh added: “I live right above the flat and I have expressed my concern. My worries are the smells and vermin. We had an occasion at the weekend where we had blocked drains and there was water coming up through my kitchen sink – my kitchen was flooded. It took two days to be fixed.”

Cllr Peter Convery said: “Both myself and Cllr MacKay have tried to get to the point where we can get a notice to the gentleman who owns the building.

“Pigeons don’t actually go into places like that to have a snooze, they go in for food and if you think there is food in there, there is a food chain with other types of rodents. It is so frustrating.”

South Ayrshire Council had still to comment as we went to press.