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By Hugh Boag
Pressure in mounting on the owners of the McLaren Hotel to clean up the eyesore on Brodick shorefront.
Both building control and planning officials from North Ayrshire Council have inspected the rundown hotel, following the Banner story last week.
We told how a video on YouTube, which had been shared by the community forum on Arran, showed intruders roaming inside the building which they posted online.
Police on Arran contacted the owners, the Norfolk-based abodeGroup demanding that the improve security and island sergeant Dougie Robertson told Arran Community Council this week they were continuing to monitor and check it.
Arran’s new operational support officer at North Ayrshire Council, Rosslyn Mills, told the meeting that she had inspected the building with building contol and found ‘two broken window and the back fire door open’. She also said the planning department may have powers to intervene under the conditions of the planning application.
Corrie representative Frances Westwood said the worry was that the video may have gone viral worldwide, since a Frenchman was found squatting in the hotel by the video pair, who first posted the film three months ago.
But chairman Bill Calderwood said that, away from Facebook, the concern for the community was the ‘dangerous building’ and the general unsightly appearance of the site. He also said there was concern from local residents of the spread of vermin from the hotel and surrounding grounds.
‘The best way of making that building safe is to pull it down,’ he said.
Council workmen recently cut away overhanging branches from shrubs and bushes at the front wall which were causing an obstruction on the pavement. And the bouncy castle, which always provoked a mixed reaction on the front lawn of the beer garden, still lies buried in the undergrowth.
North Ayrshire councillor Timothy Billings said he had written to the owners twice, without reply and had now contacted building control. ‘I hope they will do what they can to improve the situation,’ he said.
It is a year next week since the abodeGroup received planning permission to demolish the hotel to make way for a controversial £9 million. 88-bedroom aparthotel.
The Banner contacted the owners last week who have promised an announcement on the development soon.
The McLaren Hotel lies dilapidated in its overgrown grounds this week. 01_B48mclaren01