RESIDENTS of New Cumnock had their worst fears confirmed when a crumbling building collapsed.

Passers-by were shocked, but relieved to be unhurt, when the front of Trotters Building in the Castle blew off during high winds.

It landed on the adjoining pavement, blocking it and causing traffic chaos as part of the A76, the busy route to Dumfries, was blocked.

Treasurer of New Cumnock Community Council, Eric Bennett, said: “It’s a wonder no one was seriously injured. If the hoarding had fallen on a passer-by then the result would have been serious.

“It was only a matter of time before an incident like this would happen. There are far too many of these buildings being bought up by speculators who do nothing or next to nothing with them.

“It’s time local agencies started working together to make sure these buildings are at least safe or better still repaired and put to good use for the community.”

Councillor for the area, Walter Young, who was one of the first on the scene, has vowed to demand action before someone is killed.

Mr Young said: “This sort of thing should not happen and responsible owners need to make sure they carry out their responsibilities to the local community.

“I will be taking this matter up with the relevant council officials to see what can be done to make sure this does not happen again and to see what can be done to compel the three separate owners of the Trotters Building to work together to at least make sure the property they own is safe.”

Both he and Mr Bennett have been trying to contact owners of building to take the appropriate measures to ensure there will be no repeat.

One of the owners is believed to live in Edinburgh and another in the South of England ­— contact the Chronicle if you have any information and we will pass it on to the community representatives.