Housing association’s U-turn over communal seating

The additional seating, which has now been removed, that residents purchased for a communal area at Meadowburn. 
The additional seating, which has now been removed, that residents purchased for a communal area at Meadowburn. 

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Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) has reversed its decision to force tenants at Meadowburn Place in Campbeltown remove outdoor seating they purchased for a communal area.

The residents were left ‘gobsmacked’ and ‘devastated’ when they were asked to remove the wooden seating table and rattan corner suite they clubbed together to buy after ACHA said as it restricted other residents from using the area and could ’cause a disturbance’ if gatherings took place.

George Harrison, one of the residents who chipped in, told the Courier that the seating created a ‘resurgence in neighbourly spirit and a sense of close community which was lacking before lockdown’ and provided a safe space for all neighbours, especially those who are elderly and on their own, to chat to each other during the pandemic.

In a bid to have the decision reversed, Mr Harrison contacted local councillor John Armour for advice and made a formal complaint to the housing association.

In response to Mr Harrison’s complaint, ACHA said an investigation had been carried out seeking the views of all residents in one section of Meadowburn Place, which is owned by ACHA and several private owners, and added: ‘We received responses back from 22 residents and, of these, 16 were in favour of the seating area remaining and six were against it remaining due to disturbance.

‘We understand from that consultation that many residents felt strongly that the seating area had been good for the community and was very beneficial.

‘Based on this information collected, I can advise that ACHA has no issue with the seating area remaining in place. We would ask that owners using the area consider the disturbance late night use of the area can create for others. We suggest that the area is not used beyond 10pm at night to prevent noise complaints and any risk of disturbance.’

Mr Harrison told the Courier: ‘I would like to thank ACHA for reviewing their original decision and we can know look forward to continuing to build a closer community at Meadowburn. Hopefully this will encourage other residents in the whole of Meadowburn to utilise their communal areas in a sensible and responsible manner.’

Most of the garden furniture which had been bought for the communal area was sold when the residents were first asked to remove it, but they say they are glad they have the green light for purchasing more next summer.