Glaisnock House and the former Dunaskin Heritage Centre were two high-profile derelict buildings which required emergency work over the last year.
They were among 21 dangerous building notices served by East Ayrshire Council between April 2021 and March 2022.
The notices require owners to take action to ensure the buildings are safe when they are deemed to have ‘failed in their duty’ to fulfil their responsibilities.
Local authority chiefs had to step in to make properties safe 15 times, stating it will seek to recover costs from the owners in question.
The B-listed Glaisnock House, near Cumnock, fell into disrepair after the last owner, Xu Yaang, died from a brain tumour in 2015 having bought it the previous year amid plans to create a Chinese language centre.
Built in 1833, the property was bought by the county council in 1949 and operated as a school until 1973. The council has talked about the possible ‘acquisition’ of the building for future restoration.
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A report to the governance and scrutiny committee states: “Glaisnock House has been subject to neglect over a period of many years and as such has fallen into a serious state of disrepair it is also subject to repeated acts of vandalism and arson attacks.
“East Ayrshire Council have received numerous complaints regarding the condition of the building both externally and internally.”
With the ownership in limbo, the council had to carry out emergency works to make the building safe and inaccessible.
The report continues: “The building is a Grade B-listed building and also holds significant local interest. The ownership of the building lies within foreign jurisdiction and although efforts have been made to attempt to engage with them this has not proven to be successful.”
The former Dunsakin Heritage Centre in Patna, the Doon Valley, has also fallen into serious disrepair and suffered repeated vandalism. Like Glaisnock House, the council was forced to carry out emergency works.
The report states: “The site includes the remains of the ironworks, associated buildings and structures has been classed as a scheduled monument by Historic Environment Scotland. It is therefore not only of significant local interest but of national importance.”
A house in Redree Place, New Cumnock, was another prominent case, after it was extensively damaged by fire last November.
The report stated: “Due to complications, the owner and their insurer were unable to confirm whether they were able to undertake the appropriate emergency remedial works to make the building safe and secure the site.”
The council made the external walls safe and was able to recover the costs.
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