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Part demolition of Ayr Station Hotel considered

March 4 2024

 Part demolition of Ayr Station Hotel considered

South Ayrshire Council with Ironside Farrar have drawn up an indicative investment plan for Ayr through to 2035 that places a reimagined railway station at the heart of the town centre.

Geared toward boosting the population while improving amenities the blueprint aims to restore a sense of hustle and bustle through a combination of new buildings, repurposing vacant properties and environmental enhancements.

The declared number one investment priority is the burned-out Ayr Station, which will be turned into a transport interchange incorporating a bus station and onward active travel links. Drawings show the south wing of the B-listed station hotel replaced by open ground and dominated by a ramped footbridge. This would connect to Robert Burns Square, a newly created public space extending from Station Road to Smith Street - made possible by realigning the A70.

Secondary projects include a residential care village at Hourstons and Arran Mall, including a variety of housing for independent and assisted living. The Kyle Centre would also be a focus of attention, with redevelopment serving to diversify the mall for a mix of residential, leisure and commercial uses.

In a framework statement, the authority wrote: "Programmes will be taken forward often with project partners and be linked to wider council programmes, for example, housing, social care, tourism and business support.

"The council’s role will often be to enable projects, identify and support funding submissions and link funds such as the Place Investment Fund and Council’s Capital."

Underpinning all these projects will be an active travel network designed to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists over vehicles throughout the town centre.  

A concept 'living well' village will draw together care, housing and and health facilities in one place
A concept 'living well' village will draw together care, housing and and health facilities in one place
An extended and enhanced Robert Burns Square will sit at the heart of a new active travel network
An extended and enhanced Robert Burns Square will sit at the heart of a new active travel network


#1 Posted by Mansartarchi on 4 Mar 2024 at 09:50 AM
Why do seashells sound like the ocean?
#2 Posted by Rankielass on 4 Mar 2024 at 10:05 AM
I don't think I have ever been more depressed by the state of my home town as looking at these bad renders of bad design.
Esther Clark
#3 Posted by Esther Clark on 4 Mar 2024 at 11:02 AM
In 2000 AD the council and NR published similar plans and these were even in the local papers. NR only owned 20 % of the buildings. It has taken a long time to get to this stage with no maintenance or amenities in the Station and no permission from NR for access for repairs to the Hotel since 2013.
We have excellent architecture in Ayr which we do not maintain.Why are we destroying that for this.? Depressing
#4 Posted by Dave on 4 Mar 2024 at 11:05 AM
urgh this is grim...
Peter M
#5 Posted by Peter M on 4 Mar 2024 at 14:13 PM
The current situation is a mess.
But to spend all this money on such a bad design.
Trying to squeeze the bus station into there, whilst reducing the capacity of the road out front of the cinema, and reducing the parking etc is a joke.
Theres better places to build residential, there's better ways to spend this money.
Adam Imrie.
#6 Posted by Adam Imrie. on 4 Mar 2024 at 14:58 PM
I used to work in the Station Hotel back in the late 70s and early 80s and, to see what was allowed to happen to it by the hopeless Council authorities, is almost criminal.
The costs spent over the last decade or so could have and should have been better spent restoring the fabulous building.
So many opportunities were lost but, why does this not surprise me?
You only need to walk through town to witness the dreadful devastation this SNP Council has wrought during their tenure in office.
They should hang their heads in shame, Ayr is not the Ayr I was once so proud of.
#7 Posted by Jon on 4 Mar 2024 at 15:38 PM
What the h$ll is that atrocious toy-town aerial render? If they cant even be bothered to accurately show their proposals how are we meant to take this seriously
#8 Posted by Hhhhm on 4 Mar 2024 at 15:39 PM
Roberts burns square, no such place. Burns statue square is what's its called. Lol the pictures ate so funny, they've already knocked fown tge big building that was beside the odeon, ages ago. Are they rebuilding it too as its there in the picture. That's all green area now with walk way beside tge newly named astoria cinema. The railway station isn't in the centre of town either, and it looks like in the pic they are removing the carpark to put in a bus station, I'd believe they'd need a bigger area.
John L.
#9 Posted by John L. on 4 Mar 2024 at 15:48 PM
There is no "SNP council". the Largest party in the council are the conservatives and there has been no single party with overall control of the council since 2003. Maybe this split control is one of the causes of the inaction but please don't blame everything on your political boogyman.
#10 Posted by UR on 4 Mar 2024 at 15:51 PM
@8 Burns Statue Square is to be extended and redesigned. It's this enlarged pedestrian route running from the statue to the station, that is being referred to as Robert Burns Square. The thinking behind it is to emphasise Burns heritage for visitors.
Robert Reynolds
#11 Posted by Robert Reynolds on 4 Mar 2024 at 16:58 PM
Rev Mary McLauchlan
#12 Posted by Rev Mary McLauchlan on 4 Mar 2024 at 19:36 PM
Please don't keep vehicles out of the town centre - I mean from the shopping centre - I can't count the number of times we leave the town centre in the car because, as a Blue Badge holder, we have not been able to park. Please don't make the town centre even more inaccessible for all us people who can't walk far. Fill the shopping area with more shops, library, consumer advice places. Smooth pavements to make journeys smoother for for folk with walking frames and prams/ buggies/ pushchairs. I can't walk far, it's bad enough now trying to get round the shops, please make it easier rather than impossible.
#13 Posted by Roddy_ on 4 Mar 2024 at 22:31 PM
Delicate and sensitive, with a light-touch feel and with an eye to the fine-grain of the old town centre. The pedestrian bridge and ramps create a well-interated and almost invisible means of transit for the local denizens. The bus lay-bys flanking the 6 lanes of traffic adjacent and the bus entry/egress point look just the ticket for pedestrians seeking the front door of the station.
There is much to admire about this scheme. Plaudits to the designers.
Eleanor McCarrey
#14 Posted by Eleanor McCarrey on 6 Mar 2024 at 18:38 PM
Fantastic changes ahead.
Fully agree with the new transport hub.
Excited about the pedestrianisation around the cinema area.

Not fully convinced about the complex in the former Hourston building
Peter de Moncey-Conegliano
#15 Posted by Peter de Moncey-Conegliano on 7 Mar 2024 at 09:32 AM
Ayr Station Hotel was a magnificent building. Even more magnificent on the inside than on the outside with its ornate staircases and ceilings and large public rooms eminently suitable for meetings, concerts and conferences. Last year a structural engineer’s report by SAVE a national organisation to save historic buildings UK wide proved down to the cost of the last plank of wood that it was cheaper to refurbish the whole building than to demolish it. And yet even before the fire both the Council and Network Rail continued to insist it be demolished even when it was still in relatively good condition. This plan is a hotchpotch. The new bus station is as small and cramped as the existing one. It would be better to build a completely new railway station and adjacent bus station where Matalan is and move Matalan to the High St to revive the High St.
#16 Posted by Jon on 7 Mar 2024 at 10:07 AM
There should be far more/higher fines and penalties for building owners who poses listed buildings that are left to rot or mysteriously (and somewhat conveniently) burn down. Its happening far too often and its resulting in a massive loss of our built heritage
#17 Posted by Shergarg on 8 Mar 2024 at 22:34 PM
Just so sad to see the mess that has been made and quite unnecessary. Steps could have been taken years ago to save this beautiful building had there been the will and the courage. It would have been a good legacy for SAC
#18 Posted by Rich on 19 Mar 2024 at 23:06 PM
#6 - Since its creation SAC has been controlled by the SNP for 5 years, Labour for 9 and the Tories for 14 - it is currently Tory controlled.

#16 - Bit hard to do when the owner is based in Malaysia and couldn't/refused to be contacted. Councils hands have been a bit tied since it is/was a privately owned building.
Grim Beeper
#19 Posted by Grim Beeper on 20 Mar 2024 at 06:02 AM
#18 well done on presenting the facts as so many ill informed comments on here.
#17 bless! will and courage get you nowhere. SAC are not awash with money so are quite right not to spend on frivolity. SAC legacy should be schools for future generations not reinstating past glories that no other developers have shown an interest in.

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