NORTH Ayrshire Council’s planners will write to the owners of the old Seafield School after a petition was lodged by locals to try and save the historic building.

The petition was presented at last week’s meeting of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee and the document, which had 200 signatures, asked NAC to take action to ensure the Category B listed building would not be demolished.

The petitioner put the following to the committee in the hope that it would be taken forward:

• To take action to ensure the fire damage to Seafield House (School) building is repaired soon by the owners where insured, following the recent fire; and

• It be determined whether there is a reliable commitment by owners to save, restore and convert the building for a future use including possible, sub division as flats, or otherwise.

The site was formerly owned by the council who then sold it to Quarrier’s who in turn sold it to D McLaughlin and Sons builders at a cost of nearly £900,000.

Following vandalism and fire damage in 2016 and 2017, NAC wrote to the owners and they had a meeting where they were told that the plans were to develop the school into flats.

The committee agreed that planning services again contact the owner to seek assurances regarding the long term condition of the building and any proposals to develop the property.

They will also recommend increased fencing and/or security to further secure the site.

The planning service will continue to inspect the property as necessary to ensure that the minimum steps have been taken to prevent further deterioration of the building.

They will also seek authority from the planning committee for the issue of notices as considered necessary and explore the option of a Compulsory Purchase Order and subsequent sale to a third party (a back-to-back arrangement).

It was also agreed that an update be provided in September.