RUNDOWN blocks of flats in Greenock will not be torn down until next year - after the demolition process was hit by delays.

A long campaign to bring in the bulldozers in Neil Street paid off some time ago but the eyesore buildings are still standing.

The blocks had been blighted by anti-social behaviour and crime in recent years, with many left lying empty.

Local councillor Tommy McVey has warned that the coronavirus outbreak means that it could take more than a year to see them vanish.

Councillor McVey said: "The length of time it is taking to get these flats demolished is concerning.

"They have become detrimental to the visual amenity of neighbouring residents and a blight on the area as a whole.

"I raised this with River Clyde Homes recently and the latest information I have is that the last few remaining legal issues, which were holding up the demolition, should be resolved by mid-July.

"Thereafter, they have advised that they will put together a programme of works and invite tenders from demolition contractors.

"Given the effect the Covid-19 crisis has had on the construction industry, and the length of time tenders can sometimes take, RCH have informed me that it will be around 12 months or so until the demolition is completed.

"It is not ideal, but at least things are starting move in the right direction."

The process to get the flats demolished has encountered a number of obstacles in the way.

Cllr McVey said: "Demolition of blocks of flats can be a long drawn out legal process involving owners, tenants and housing associations.

"Hopefully, we are now on the final stretch in this case.

"My thanks go to RCH officers for their efforts to date."

River Clyde Homes have confirmed that they now have the go-ahead to knock down the blocks.

Senior project manager Richard Orr said: “After recent positive engagement with the remaining private owners in the blocks at 82 and 86 Neil Street, we hope to finally conclude the purchase of these last few flats in the coming weeks.

"Having full possession of the blocks enables us to move forward into 2021 with the proposed demolition works and we trust that this will be for the betterment of the area as a whole.”