New hit-list of ‘unsightly buildings’ on Bute

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Officers from Argyll and Bute Council have compiled a list of what they say are the most unsightly buildings on Bute.

The list, contained in a report to be considered by the authority’s Bute and Cowal area committee this week, features some well-known examples of properties in a precarious state, such as the former West Church in Argyle Street and the main building at the old Rothesay Academy, as well as some less high-profile structures such as tenement buildings in both Rothesay and Port Bannatyne.

The main building at the former Rothesay Academy is - unsurprisingly - named in a list of Bute's most unsightly buildings compiled by council officers.

The main building at the former Rothesay Academy is - unsurprisingly - named in a list of Bute's most unsightly buildings compiled by council officers.

As published, the list is also somewhat out of date: it includes, for example, the building in Bishop Street which is home to local butchers Macqueen’s, and on which major improvements have been completed in the last few weeks, and the Bute Mausoleum in Rothesay Cemetery, the subject of a major restoration programme which began in the autumn of 2014 and again has been recently completed.

In some cases the list recommends simply that officers ‘continue to monitor’ the state of the buildings, though in others - such as the tenement block at 12-14 West Princes Street, in the centre of Rothesay - it notes that grants have been approved for improvement work.

The list is the work of an ‘area property action group’ comprising planning, building standards, environmental health, council tax and housing improvement officers from the council.

The group was formed earlier this year and, according to the report, will meet four times a year “to identify and tackle vacant, unsightly and problematic buildings in a coordinated and comprehensive manner”.

Some of the properties on the list are pictured in the slideshow above; to read the report and the list - which covers both Bute and Cowal - in full, click here and then on ‘Unsightly Buildings’ (item 11 on the agenda).