Residents in a coastal Moray town are terrified of losing their bank because more than 100 pigeons have been left to run the “dilapidated” building into the ground.
The Bank of Scotland branch on Grant Street in Burghead is only open for two hours a week, but for an ageing Burghead community, who are not technologically savvy, those two hours are critical.
However, the windows on one side of the building were broken and boarded up, and more than eight inches of pigeon waste covers the attic floors.
Burghead Community Council chairman, Bill Davidson, said that the building had been a problem for a long time and he couldn’t understand why the owners and Moray Council let it go to “rack and ruin”.
Council secretary John Gordon said it was sad to see the “dilapidated state” of the bank and labelled it a health hazard.
Mr Gordon added that environmental health contacted the owner to arrange for a local tradesman to board up the windows so that the pigeons could no longer enter the bank.
Janet Glendinning and her husband, Patrick, who have voluntarily cleaned the entire outer area of the bank since 1991, said they hope the owners will step up to the crease and get professionals in.
Mrs Glendinning said: “We sincerely hope to see this beautiful building restored to its former glory, and cleanliness returned to this area of Burghead.
“I personally know how important this branch is to elderly people in Burghead.”
Heldon and Laich councillor Chris Tuke said: “It is one of the nicest architectural buildings in the town, and everybody would like to see it cleaned up, but it’s really down to the owners. Unless environmental health identify a serious health problem, it’s hard to tell any owner of a vacant property what to do with it.”
Co-owner of the building, Donald Gormley, said he felt the concerns of the local community and hoped to sell the property in the near future.
Mr Gormley said: “The co-owners of the property empathise with the discontentment of the Burghead residents at the dilapidated condition of the property and the colonisation of same by the feral rock pigeons.
“Councillor Tuke expressed his gratitude to the owners for the recent steps taken to address any potential environmental health/safety concerns and for their continued monitoring of the situation.
“Imminently, the property will be advertised on the open market for sale which will hopefully secure a buyer to develop the property for residential or alternate use.”
A Bank of Scotland spokeswoman said: “Bank of Scotland does not own the section of the property which is being renovated and therefore has no control over how it is maintained. We understand the frustration of residents and can only apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.”
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