A CATRINE resident wants a 250-year-old building to be given heritage status.

Gillian Davies cites New Lanark, which was built by David Dale at the same time, as an example of what could be done.

She was responding to East Ayrshire Council’s Placemaking Consultation which was designed to enable people who live and work in the area to have a say in its future.

In particular, Ms Davies is concerned at wording in the document which identifies the weavers cottages at 24 – 33 St Cuthbert’s Street as having potential housing development and/or improvement opportunities.

Ms Davies said: “Destroying a 250-year-old heritage building, which surveys have confirmed is still a sound building adds nothing to the conservation of the heritage of the village and in fact actively destroys it.

“These weavers’ cottages are absolutely in keeping with the surrounding Scheduled Ancient Monument of which they should probably be a part and the Voes Local Nature Reserve which lies directly in front of them.

“They are iconic parts of the heritage landscape. The building has been badly neglected over the last 30 years and much of what has been done has detracted from its viability and appearance).

“The building dates from the late 18th and early 19th century and is featured on the earliest maps of the area. It should be an integral part of Catrine’s heritage offering especially as it lies right on the River Ayr Way.

“No-one will go out of their way to see a new-build block of council flats and in fact such a building will negatively impact the area.

“Many folk will appreciate a properly maintained 250 year old weavers’ cottage especially if it is presented as such. We need to find another solution. If the flats are empty, turn them into a tourist attraction.

“Other places have made such buildings into a tourist asset, we can too and we should.

“Combined with the local stories surrounding the ‘radical’ weavers, the ‘Radical Brae’ and the Radical Road’ on which the building stands, this should be one more attraction for the walkers on the River Ayr Way.

“The condition of the flats varies, some are really bad, some are just fine, some in private hands are quite lovely.

“Solutions need to be found but should not include destruction of the building. That is too high a price to pay.”