Newsletter - Links - Advertise - Contact Us - Privacy
 

North Ayrshire Council sparks high-rise demolition debate

Bookmark and Share | Send to friend

March 16 2018

North Ayrshire Council sparks high-rise demolition debate
North Ayrshire Council has followed its counterparts in North Lanarkshire with news that it is openly considering removing all high-rise housing from its books, subject to consultation with tenants.

The authority currently owns seven towers, five at Fullarton in Irvine and a further two in Saltcoats but has become concerned at the escalating costs of maintenance borne by the need to install sprinklers and other improvements in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

One way out of this quandary would be to simply bulldoze all such homes and build 400 replacement low-rise houses, something which could be achieved as soon as 2023. Combined upgrade and maintenance costs over the next 25 years have been put at £22.5m whereas a programme of wholesale demolition and rebuilding has been calculated at £44.6m.

Council leader Joe Cullinane commented: “The relatively small difference in costs between retaining the high flats and building new properties means it’s definitely worth exploring if this is the best option for both our tenants and the Council.

“Rather than spend millions of pounds maintaining ageing high flats, would it be better to redirect that money to invest in brand-new, high quality housing?”

For its part North Lanarkshire Council has committed itself to demolish 4,000 high-rise homes spread across 48 towers over the next 20 years, transforming the skylines of Cumbernauld, Motherwell, Coatbridge and Airdrie in the process.

No decision will be taken on the fate of the high-rise homes until later this year.
An alternative option under consideration would see only the five blocks at Irvine pulled down, with two in Saltcoats surviving
An alternative option under consideration would see only the five blocks at Irvine pulled down, with two in Saltcoats surviving
Council leader Joe Cullinane aims to transform Irvine's skyline
Council leader Joe Cullinane aims to transform Irvine's skyline

5 Comments

Cadmonkey
#1 Posted by Cadmonkey on 19 Mar 2018 at 17:10 PM
So...."Combined upgrade and maintenance costs over the next 25 years have been put at £22.5m whereas a programme of wholesale demolition and rebuilding has been calculated at £44.6m."

Since when was £22.1m a "relatively small difference in costs between retaining the high flats and building new properties".

They sure know how to spend the public's money.
Sven
#2 Posted by Sven on 20 Mar 2018 at 09:33 AM
@Cadmonkey - the above figures in UR seem to be wrong. According to another site:

"In a report for the council’s Cabinet on March 20, three main options for the tower blocks are:

Option 1 – Retain all seven towers blocks and launch an improvements programme, including installation of sprinklers, alongside regular maintenance at a total cost of £22.5 million over 25 years.

Option 2 – Demolish all seven blocks and replace with low-rise housing constructed on-site and elsewhere, at a net additional cost of £22.1m, to be completed by 2023.

Option 3 – Demolish the five Irvine tower blocks only, with replacement low rise housing constructed on-site and elsewhere, and retain the Saltcoats tower blocks, at a net additional cost of £14.4m.
Cadmonkey
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 20 Mar 2018 at 12:40 PM
Sven
The figures you quote in fact match Urban Realms article.
Iain Duerr
#4 Posted by Iain Duerr on 20 Mar 2018 at 15:23 PM
You have a point about the money, Cadmonkey. Quite how DOUBLE the cost of refurbishment amounts to only a little more is beyond me.

There is, short of relatively cheap installation of sprinkler systems, nothing wrong with these blocks or indeed any of the 48 cited for demolition in Lanarkshire; the councils themselves admit that. Presumably 'All fall down, council to flatten all bungalows' or 'Council to flatten all semis, yes EVERY ONE of them', will be the next headline. That's how daft it is. The vintage of these blocks is often quoted, 'over 55 years old' etc. Presumably then we should be moving to remove all heat-leaking 19th century tenements due to their inability to meet the needs of the modern citizen? It's unclear as to what kind of improvement the councillors have in mind that cannot be achieved.

These moves make little sense beyond possibly appearing to the councillors to be, in their minds, a vote winner. I read somewhere else that Mr Cullinane is never out of the news promoting this or that. If there are issues of voids or intractable problems, by all means proceed. That failing, it's an expensive waste of time and money. Haven't we been here before?
Spenceys Specs
#5 Posted by Spenceys Specs on 20 Mar 2018 at 22:43 PM
Flats have a great view, the council should sell them off to a non-for-profit company on the proviso they are refurbished up to an acceptable standard. #4 yes sprinklers but there could be costly issues to upgrade/maintain fire doors, fire stopping, etc..

Post your comments

 

All comments are pre-moderated and
must obey our house rules.

 

Back to March 2018

Search News
Subscribe to Urban Realm Magazine
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.