A BUILDING which has forced the closure of Helensburgh’s East Clyde Street could be demolished if no intervention takes place, a report has claimed.

The premises at 5-7 East Clyde Street is subject to a dangerous buildings notice which came into effect in April 2016. Concerns over its safety forced part of the street to close for over four months in May 2018.

Argyll and Bute Council has made the claims in a draft conservation area appraisal and strategy as part of the town centre’s newly-granted conservation area status.

The document has also stated that the town’s former Douglas Codona amusement arcade may go unoccupied for many years to come without significant work taking place.

The former arcade, at the bottom of Colquhoun Street, is described as having “a negative impact” on the perceived quality of the area.

Members of the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee will scrutinise the report at a meeting on Wednesday, March 18. They are recommended to approve the document going out for an eight-week consultation period.

In relation to the East Clyde Street property, the report said: “The building was determined to be an imminent danger to public safety.

“The general fabric of the building is in very poor condition and the building now requires a very high degree of urgent intervention to restore the building to safe use and lift the dangerous buildings notice which remains in force.

READ MORE: East Clyde Street in Helensburgh closed due to concerns over dangerous building

“Further to any urgent repair works, a programme of immediate/recommended fabric repairs will be required to bring the building into a habitable condition.

“Without the stewardship of repair and maintenance, the building will no doubt continue to deteriorate, albeit under periodic review by Argyll and Bute Council to mitigate any future risk to the public.

“The mixed tenure aspect (commercial and residential) adds a level of complexity which is prohibitive to the owners independently undertaking significant repair works.

“Without intervention, further dilapidation will be likely and the site will be at risk of full demolition in the longer term.”

On the former amusement arcade, the report adds that the vacancy to upper level indicates to visitors that the issue is with the building’s condition.

The document said: “One particularly prominent long-term vacant building is 1-5 Colquhoun Street which is vacant to the ground floor shops and first floor level.

“The adjoining shop unit to 25-26 West Clyde Street which has fenestration to both corner elevations is also vacant.

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“Collectively this grouping of vacant buildings on an important connecting street is impacting on the town’s first impressions which will ultimately effect footfall and retail trade to the surrounding businesses.

“The general fabric of the building is in very poor condition and it would be reasonable to assume that unless a programme of necessary repairs is instigated, it will not likely be occupied at any time in the coming years.

“The external fabric requires attention to address water penetration issues, considerable stonework repair, window refurbishment (or wholesale replacement), and possible structural intervention to the supporting structure of the shopfronts.

“A programme of repair with a structured maintenance plan would safeguard the building’s future and greatly improve the streetscape.

“In conjunction with the building repair, consideration should be given to a shopfront replacement programme to reinstate high quality, traditional shopfronts to this important linking street.”

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