Co-owner ‘ignored’ pleas over dangerous Ardrishaig building

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Colin Cameron

The part-owner of an unsafe Ardrishaig  building has approached the Argyllshire Advertiser to explain her position as social media comments multiply.

People and traffic are being kept away from the former Slainte Bar building on Chalmers Street, forming part of the A83 through the village.

The structure was deemed ‘dangerous’ on Friday May 10 after inspection by architects and in consultation with Argyll and Bute Council building control. In response, the pavement outside was cordoned off and traffic restricted to one lane under traffic light control.

The building has remained out of bounds since, pending agreement with trunk road management firm BEAR Scotland to erect scaffolding to assess defective lintels and carry out repairs.

It is understood scaffolding will be erected over the coming weekend.

Forced to move out, a florist operating from the building, Morna Shaw, thanked friends and neighbours as she moved to the former laundry premises along the road.

The owner of the upper part of the building, Marie Hendry, contacted the Advertiser earlier this week to set out her own position following an increasing number of comments about the situation on social media.

Ms Hendry said an inspection by a structural engineer in January 2016 revealed the need for remedial work.

She explained: ‘Before any plans could be submitted, I required the signature of the owner of the florist shop, Chris Gabriel.

‘After I personally tried to contact him over several months, my solicitor wrote to him on numerous occasions over the past three years but he has ignored all correspondence.’

Ms Hendry claims she was even contacted last year by Argyll and Bute Council to ask if she had managed to trace Mr Gabriel as it, too, was looking for him regarding the old post office building in Campbeltown.

Before applying for a building warrant to renovate the property, a structural engineer carried out a final inspection of the building on Thursday May 9.

Ms Hendry explained: ‘It was then he became concerned about the lintel above the window on the second floor and work on it will be carried out immediately. The rest of the building will be addressed as soon as the building warrant is granted.’

With reference to recent social media posts, she added: ‘It concerns me, too, that the area is such an eyesore, but hopefully not for too much longer.’

The Argyllshire Advertiser attempted to locate and contact Mr Gabriel for comment, without success so far.

PIC:

The cordoned-off former Slainte Bar building awaiting emergency repair work. 51_a20_SlainteBar01