Nov 2 2012 by Craig Robertson, Kilmarnock Standard
Council chiefs are tackling a hitlist of more than 50 derelict or dangerous buildings they want sorted out.
Dozens of repairs notices have already been served on the owners of the properties – some of which have been lying empty for years.
Many are fire damaged and have been reported as unsafe by the public or police.
And others have been abandoned and left to rot.
The list, which was presented to councillors on a governance and scrutiny committee last week, outlines 54 sites across the whole East Ayrshire Council area which are being looked at.
A large number are in the Kilmarnock area, including the former ABC Cinema in Tichfield Street which has been served with a repairs notice.
The report says some action has been carried out there to make the property secure and to have areas boarded up.
The Howard Park Hotel in Glasgow Road is also on the list where it’s described as being in a “poor condition”.
Following a complaint from an MSP, building standards said they inspected the site and found it to be secure and not dangerous.
A number of the properties on the list are actually in the ownership of the council.
They included a former vehicle garage at Millhill in Kilmaurs which received enforcement action for demolition.
Several on the list have also become derelict after a fire damage such as the Co Op building and Loudoun Valley Manufacturing Company site, both in Darvel.
The report says action had to be taken to demolish the site with recovery of costs now being looked at.
In a report to councillors, operations manager David McDowall said previous work to tackle derelict or dangerous buildings led to restoration of the former Opera House in John Finnie Street.
He said: “The counicl has tackled an extensive number of derelict and dangerous buildings, removing dangerous structure where appropriate and with a view to improving their appearance and in some cases bringing these buildings back into use.
“In doing so, the council has used a variety of powers under the planning acts and the Building (Scotland) Act.”
Mr McDowall said the council has used regeneration funding to help try and improve some of the buildings but he warned things could start to get harder if money dries up.
“Significant challenges will continue in the future as the full impact of the economic recession falls on the private section and increasingly on the public sector.”