Consultation and engagement on the future of the three blocks at Riverside Place is underway
Tenants in the Riverside Place multi-storey flats in Ayr are getting the chance to have their say on the future of the high-rise properties as South Ayrshire Council's consultation on 'Your place, your future' gets underway.
The consultation and engagement exercise – approved by Councillors last year – gives tenants the chance to choose their preferred option for the long-term future of the flats:
Refurbish – this means the Council would keep the flats, decant tenants, carry out identified refurbishment works, and then return tenants to their refurbished flats.
Rehouse – this means tenants would be rehoused permanently in suitable alternative accommodation and the flats would be demolished.
Rebuild – this means tenants would be decanted to temporary accommodation and the flats would be demolished before some tenants return to a new-build housing development on the Riverside Place site.
The detailed consultation, which is based around individual one-to-one meetings with more than 200 tenants, has been planned in conjunction with the River Ayr Tenants Association, which represents tenants in the three blocks.
The Council has communicated regularly with tenants in the lead-up to the consultation to ensure they have all the information they need to take part.
A further letter has now been distributed to homes in Riverside Place following queries and concerns raised by tenants regarding a letter sent to them by Fort, Seafield & Wallacetown Community Council.
The community council's letter appears to query the three consultation options being discussed with tenants and questions South Ayrshire Council's interpretation of the expert report approved last year regarding the "essential and advisable" works required to the flats.
Councillor Philip Saxton, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Wellbeing, said: "We are committed to ensuring that our tenants are fully involved in the discussions about the future of their flats, which is why we're taking such a detailed approach to this consultation.
"It's vital that tenants understand all the facts so they can form their own views about the option that is best for them. That is why we have gone back out to them to respond to the queries and confusion that have been generated by the community council's letter.
"We fully appreciate that the community council may have a view on the consultation, which is why colleagues are meeting with them next week and we're happy to keep them informed about the consultation and engagement process.
"However, our focus – which was clearly expressed by tenants at the recent River Ayr Tenants Association meeting – has to be on hearing the views of those who will be directly affected by Councillors' decisions later this year: the tenants of Riverside Place.
"We thank them for their participation in the consultation and I can reassure them that their views will be taken into account before any decisions are taken about the future of Riverside Place."
Joe Lafferty, Chair of the River Ayr Tenants Association, said: "We have worked closely with the Council over the last couple of years as discussions around the future of the flats have moved forward – and we very much appreciate the approach the Council has taken.
"It is for every tenant to consider what is the best option for them and to ensure their voice is heard by those who will be making the decisions about what happens next. Clear facts, easy to understand information and answers to the questions tenants have is what's needed and that's exactly what we have got from the Council."
Feedback from the consultation will be considered by Councillors in June this year.
Full details of the Riverside Place consultation are available at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/riverside-place.