North Ayrshire Council sparks high-rise demolition debate
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March 16 2018
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
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