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Common Good Consultation - MVF Watchful, South Harbour Street Ayr

Notice of consultation under Section 104 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

Reason for Site Notice Being Displayed: South Ayrshire Council is proposing to remove and scrap the former fishing vessel known locally as 'The Watchful' and its supporting structure, currently located in the dry dock at South Harbour Street, Ayr - shown outlined in red on the plan below - to enable a programme of environmental enhancements including improvement of the South Harbour slipway to support access to water sports, and a proposed Inner Harbour Art and Heritage trail.

As The Watchful is affixed to Common Good Land, it has acquired the status of that land and is considered Common Good. However, the title to the land contains no special purpose or specific conditions dedicating the land to a Common Good public purpose. Likewise, there is little evidence that the Council or its statutory predecessors dedicated the land, or the vessel, to a public purpose and it is classified as alienable Common Good. Consent from the Court is therefore not required to dispose of the vessel or the associated concrete supports.

No Council service use has been identified for The Watchful and no budget allocated for its maintenance and upkeep. In accordance with the Council's Policy for the Acquisition and Disposal of Land and Buildings, therefore, The Watchful is surplus to Council requirements. The proposal will remove the Common Good Fund's liability for maintaining the property.

Notice is hereby given of a PUBLIC CONSULTATION.

In terms of Section 104 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, local authorities are required to consult with the local community when planning to dispose of common good property or change its use.

The proposal is for The Watchful and its supporting structure, which is in a damaged and deteriorating condition, to be removed and scrapped. This will enable implementation of a proposed Ayr Esplanade Improvement Strategy to include improved infrastructure for water sports, refurbishment of existing artworks, a new maritime heritage installation, improved wayfinding and interpretation. Approval to proceed with the above proposal, subject to the outcome of this consultation exercise, was granted by the Cabinet of South Ayrshire Council at its meeting on 31st October 2023.

It is anticipated the proposed developments will yield the following benefits:

  • Regeneration - by enabling new activity in a highly visible but under used part of Ayr. Contributing to Priority One: Spaces & Places of the South Ayrshire Council Plan 2023- 28.
  • Environmental Improvement - the South Harbour/Inner Harbour area will be made more attractive and safer for residents and visitors to enjoy. Contributing to Priority Three: Civic & Community Pride of the South Ayrshire Council Plan 2023-28. MVF Watchful Common Good Consultation Notice
  • Economic Development - the proposal is expected to benefit the visitor economy, attracting additional visitors and associated spend to the local area, contributing to South Ayrshire Council Tourism & Events Strategy.
  • Public Health and Social Wellbeing - the improvements are likely to increase capacity and accessibility of facilities for outdoor and water-based activities for the general public, thus improving participants' health and wellbeing and offering social opportunities. Will also create an enhanced space for people to gather and socialise, strengthening community cohesion and tackling social isolation.
  • Ayr Common Good fund will benefit through the removal of liability for costs associated with maintaining the current structure.

Location of the structure that would be removed is shown outlined in the plan below.

Description of the Consultation Process

Anyone may make representations about this proposal to South Ayrshire Council. Representations must be in writing, by email, or by online response as detailed below and include the name and address of the person making it. All representations must be received by 17:00hrs on Monday 8th January 2024. All representations received will be published with the exception of those considered to be potentially offensive or libellous. The names of individuals and organisations making representations and their postcode will be published alongside the representation made. The Council will remove any telephone numbers, mobile numbers, personal email addresses, residential addresses and signatures from published information.

You can submit a response using the online comment response sheet, by email to estates@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or, in writing to: Asset Management and Community Asset Transfer South Ayrshire Council County Buildings Wellington Square Ayr KA7 1DR By no later than 17:00hrs on Monday 8th January 2024. Any correspondence should be clearly marked 'MVF Watchful Common Good Consultation' South Ayrshire Council's Asset Management and Community Asset Transfer Privacy Notice can be viewed on the Council's website at: www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/AssetManagement-and-Community-Asset-Transfer-privacy-notice

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