THE residents of Ayr’s riverside high flats last week vowed to fight South Ayrshire Council over the decision to knock down their homes.

A meeting held by Fort, Seafield and Wallacetoun Community Council at the Auld Kirk, gathered 50 residents, many of whom were desperate to stay put after council chiefs ordered a demolition of the three flats which tower over the River Ayr.

One resident shockingly told his fellow neighbours that he felt forced into changing his preferred option by SAC who came to his home and urged him to opt for his flat to be knocked down.

He revealed: “I felt pressurised”.

The meeting was addressed by Norman McLean, chair of the community council and community council member David Petrie, who is also a resident of the flats.

Norman told residents how meeting was arranged to “fully explore the implications of the South Ayrshire Council decision last month to demolish the flats and re-house the residents.”

And despite concerns after the Grenfell tragedy that the flats could be at risk of the same fate, he added: “We will demonstrate that the flats are sound safe.”

The community council pledged their support to help residents who were left defeated after the decision taken by the leadership panel last month.

The meeting then heard from David who hit out at the council for not taking the preferred option of remaining in the flats seriously.

David asked residents if they were happy with any of the options provided to them.

He said: “It is your preferred option that was counted and was not recognised as a vote, are you happy with that?”

Residents defiantly replied, “no”, with the community council suggesting a fourth option should have been offered to allow residents to stay during a refurb of the flats which have stood since the 1960s.

No councillors were in attendance at the meeting.

South Ayrshire Council told the Ayr Advertiser: “Housing officers are currently carrying out further visits to tenants to discuss their housing options and preferences which will inform the implementation plan.

“The council’s priority is to ensure tenants are kept fully informed and supported throughout this period.”

MP Bill Grant also attended the meeting.

He told the Advertiser: “I sense from the meeting there was some disappointment amongst residents in relation to the demolition and they seek to resist that and in partnership with the community council.

“I find it strange with significant pressure on and demand for affordable housing that the council seek to remove some 230 flats and replace them with only 90 new units.