Council steps in after Station Hotel owners fail to take action
South Ayrshire Council has had to step in to take action to address public safety concerns at the former Station Hotel in Ayr after the private owners of the dangerous building failed to respond to a statutory warning notice – resulting in works that impact on Ayr rail station.
The Council had issued a Dangerous Buildings Notice to the hotel owners on 28 March 2018, setting out a number of immediate repairs that were required. These were focused around:
defective sandstone on elevations and gables;
loose slates and decorative ironworks repairs; and
the removal of the Station Hotel sign from the roof.
However, the owners failed to take any action in response to this and the Council had to put in additional screens and fencing to increase security, prevent access to the dangerous building and minimise the potential risk to public safety.
Ongoing monitoring by the Council since then has identified continued deterioration in the building to the extent it is now considered to be an immediate risk to public safety.
In response, the Council has established an extended perimeter and exclusion zone around the hotel building, and instructed works to address the defects identified in the Dangerous Buildings Notice.
The works – which get underway on site from today (2 July) – include survey works to give a clearer and more detailed picture of the condition of the building.
Train services are unaffected by the work, but there are temporary changes to how customers access Ayr train station:
The main station entrance is temporarily closed. Customers can access the station on Platform 4, or via a new temporary entrance and exit on Platform 1.
The ticket office is temporarily closed, and the self-service ticket machines are out of use. Extra staff are on hand to sell tickets at the ticket gate.
The main station car park is partially closed. Cars can enter and exit through the normal ‘exit’ only route further down Smith Street
Female and accessible toilets are closed. Alternative toilet facilities are available.
Full details of the changes in place are available at www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/stations-and-facilities/ayr.
Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "As I’ve said before, the Station Hotel is privately owned and should be maintained to a safe standard by its owners.
“However, as they have failed to do this – and have shown no signs of taking action – we have a statutory duty to step in and ensure we keep our residents and visitors safe.
“This is obviously not a decision we’ve taken lightly, but is one we are forced to take. While our priority is – and has to be – public safety, we do recognise that the works we now have to undertake will impact on people travelling to and from Ayr, and those in the immediate vicinity of the station.
“We’re working closely with colleagues in Network Rail and ScotRail to minimise the impact on both the running of the train station and on our residents and visitors, and we appreciate their understanding around this and their quick response to put alternative arrangements in place.
“This is a regrettable situation that has been brought about due to the lack of action by the hotel owners and our focus must be on ensuring we meet our statutory responsibilities and protect public safety.”
David Lister, ScotRail Sustainability and Safety Assurance Director, added: “We’re working with South Ayrshire Council to support them in addressing concerns about the former Ayr Station Hotel.
“To allow for the initial work to take place safely, we’ve had to make some changes to how customers access the station.
“The main station entrance and ticket office, as you approach from Ayr town centre, will be closed temporarily. Extra staff will be on hand to help direct customers.”
The Council will be pursuing the recovery of any costs incurred for the works undertaken with the hotel building owners.