Arran locals have launched a petition to demolish the old McLaren Hotel after it was reported that people are staying in it despite walls “collapsing” sparking safety fears.

Campaigners say the derelict site in Brodick is an “eyesore” and is affecting tourism while it remains “dangerous” to those who enter unauthorised.

At time of writing, more than 1,250 people had signed the online petition which calls on North Ayrshire Council to take action and review the site due to safety concerns.

Graham Chappell, a business owner on the island who set up the petition, said: “The sight has been derelict for five years and it is an absolute eyesore in Brodick. It’s right on the shore front, it’s overgrown, the security gates are all down, there’s even people sleeping rough inside it.

“The building is in a very poor state, the walls are collapsing so it is a danger to those that are going in there.”

North Ayrshire Council say they have been made aware of unauthorised entry and as a result the property will be re-inspected this week.

A council spokesperson said: “We visited the site in November last year and made the owner aware of what appeared to be unauthorised entry. On September 3, we received further reports of unauthorised entry and have been liaising with Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue on the matter. The property will be re-inspected this week.”

The Herald tracked down the owners of the site – Abode Group – who say they remain committed to the project which will see a new hotel built despite little progress being made.

A spokesperson said: “Security of the site is of course paramount, but in spite of a number of parties on Arran having our contact details nobody at all contacted us at any point until we were actually advised by the council that there was some issue.

“We expect the site to be secure very shortly.”