CONCERNS have been raised over the safety of a building in Ayr town centre with fears it could pose a danger to the public.

The former Royal Hotel, Kyle Street has been cordoned as council workers are keen to gain access to assess the state of the high-risk building.

Compared to the crumbled mess at the Station Hotel only streets away, the building has deteriorated after it was left to rot over a couple of years. It comes after it was sold at an auction earlier this year, when the property was given away for a guide price of £89,000, although it is not known who the buyer of the property was.

Councillor Siobhan Brown, Ayr West slammed the owners for leaving the building in an unstable condition and has called for swift action to tackle the problem.

She told the Ayr Advertiser: “The whole building is dangerous. It is another example of owner neglect that’s blighting our town centres. In Ayr there are a number of privately-owned neglected buildings such as the Station Hotel which was once an important part of the town.”

“In the past 20 years we have witnessed significant change in our town centres with increased online sales and retail parks changing shopping habits and this has led to very challenging times. We have seen a lot of our buildings neglected with no maintenance from owners, who are usually living outside Scotland and have no personal interest in our towns or the potential impact of their neglect.”

Councillor Brown has called for the Scottish Government to step in to address the problem with new legislation that helps the council from having to constantly take action.

She added: “This is very costly to the council and ultimately the taxpayers. I would like to see legislation where owners have a legal obligation to maintain their buildings on an annual basis, carrying out gutter cleaning and roof repairs. Simple annual repairs would stop shrubs and trees growing from the gutters and potentially dislodging brickwork and sandstone which can be dangerous.”

South Ayrshire Council’s building standards team have stepped and have closely monitored the Royal Hotel. And the building safety chiefs have demanded the owner to take prompt action within the next few weeks or they will step in.

Councillor Brown added: “If no works have been carried out by the owner by the expiration of the notice, the council will take further action to secure the building and ensure it is of no danger to the public.

“Public safety is always a priority, so we have been closely monitoring the Royal Hotel. We served a Dangerous Buildings Notice to the current owner in May 2019 giving them 21 days to carry out works to make the building safe. The owner failed to comply so the council will carry out the works and recharge the owner.”