TWO towers blocks in North Ayrshire will survive the local council’s plan to end high-rising living.

The authority earlier this year announced dramatic plans to pull down all seven of its multi-storey blocks.

However, after a consultation with residents it has given a reprieve to two buildings in the Clydeside town of Saltcoats.

The council will, however, demolish five high rises in Fullarton, Ayrshire, rehousing 275 households either on the site or nearby by 2023.

More than four out of five high-rise residents took part in the consultation.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, whose cabinet will meet next month to make a formal decision, said: “We said from the outset that we would listen to what the residents wanted and these proposals reflect their wishes.

“n Irvine, the tenants were strongly in favour of the plans which would see them rehoused and the tower blocks demolished.

“This would allow a major regeneration of the Fullarton area with affordable and energy efficient homes built there alongside new, high-quality housing in other parts of Irvine.

“The results in Saltcoats showed just under two-thirds of households wanted to keep the high flats and that’s why the proposal there is not to proceed with demolition.

“ Instead, Council officers will consider potential costs and timetables of an improvements programme before having further consultation with both the tenants and the flat owners.”


Irvine flats

In Irvine two thirds of tenants wanted demolition and rebuild and a third wanted to stay in their high rise. The proportions were reversed in Saltcoats.

The council previously said that keeping the Saltcoats flats and knocking down the Irvine ones would lead to an extra cost of £14m compared with merely upgrading all seven buildings.

North Lanarkshire earlier this year also announced plans to pull down its far larger stock of high-rise housing, but on a much slower timetable.

Tower blocks are expensive to maintain and councils are under pressure to install new safety measures after the Grenfell tragedy in London last year.

The Fullarton flats in Irvine were the scene of a fatal fire in 1999 which led to a safety review of all multi-storey buildings across Scotland.