Ayr Station Hotel owner Sunny Ung breaks silence to launch court battle with South Ayrshire Council as demolition work halted

Sunny Ung - also known as Eng Huat Ung - has halted work at the Station Hotel
Sunny Ung - also known as Eng Huat Ung - has halted work at the Station Hotel -Credit:Ayrshire Post / Instagram/dss.sunny

Work to demolish the Station Hotel has been sensationally HALTED after a dramatic legal challenge by the hotel's owner.

Diggers have been shut down as absentee property tycoon, Sunny Ung - known in official documents as Eng Huat Ung - locks horns with South Ayrshire Council in court. The Malaysian businessman has emerged from the ashes in a bid to take back control of his devastated site.

And Ayrshire Live can exclusively reveal that a fight over its future is now underway in Edinburgh's Court of Session. Ung is accusing council chiefs of demolishing the hotel without giving him proper notice in the aftermath of September's fire.

He has won a hearing before Lord Ericht this Friday, which will see council bosses argue their case for bringing the building down. A worst case scenario could see both sides pitched into a protracted battle, further delaying the re-opening of Ayr train station.

Almost £3 million has been spent taking the crumbling hotel apart since it was ravaged by an inferno more than seven months ago. Train services south of Ayr have been suspended ever since with the route to Glasgow also badly affected. It comes as council bosses were making progress on demolishing the northern wing of the hotel. They had hoped to complete their work by mid-June.

The local authority has been acting under Section 29 of the Dangerous Buildings (Scotland) Act which gives them powers to bring down a site in the interest of public safety. But Ung and his legal team are preparing to challenge whether the council gave him "adequate notice" of such work.

One senior council source said: "If there was any doubt left that Mr Ung cares little for Ayr and its people, here is the proof. What does he hope to achieve by stopping demolition work at this stage of the process? To break his silence after all these years is a particular kick in the teeth at a time when the town and its people have already been forced to endure months of misery following the fire."

South Ayrshire beaks were first forced to take surrogate charge of the site back in 2018 when they slapped a Dangerous Building Notice on the building. They have been beset by political problems around its ownership ever since and had to spend £65,000 a month on a protective dome just to stop the hotel from falling down. The deliberate fire finally brought the issue to a head, with painstaking work ongoing to take it down during the last six months

A council spokesperson said: "Work has been temporarily suspended until a hearing at the Court of Session on Friday.”

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