COUNCIL bosses have revealed the number of empty properties in Largs and the surrounding area.

The results of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted earlier this year to North Ayrshire Council (NAC) on the subject have been published online.

The local authority was asked to reveal the number of vacant homes in Largs, Fairlie and West Kilbride, broken down by bedroom size.

The council says there were nearly 100 empty properties across the three areas as of September 7.

Of the total number of 97, there are 66 in Largs, seven in Fairlie, and 24 in West Kilbride.

However, the council says it does not hold information about the bedroom sizes in each property.

The FOI request referred to "bedroom size", rather than the number of bedrooms in each of the vacant homes.

The request also made no distinction between empty properties under council, private or housing association ownership.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Our housing services team has a dedicated private sector advice team, which has a key role in actively identifying empty private properties across the whole of North Ayrshire.

“We have established methods through which properties may be brought back into use.

“Homes can become empty for a variety of reasons, including being repossessed, being renovated or requiring major works. It could also be the case that the property is for sale, or the owner is deceased.

“The most common reason for properties remaining unoccupied is that they have fallen into disrepair. Furthermore, empty properties may prove costly to owners, who can face regular repair bills.

“We provide advice and information, as well as access to practical financial assistance - where feasible and appropriate.

"Property owners may also be referred to other agencies for help in bringing properties back into the overall housing supply.

“We work closely with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, hosted by the Scottish Government and Shelter Scotland.

"This approach allows us to establish working links with other local authorities across Scotland.

“The number of empty properties changes regularly – either by being brought back into use and/or new properties becoming subject to the levy.

“We deal with empty homes on a daily basis to attempt to engage owners with a view to trying to bring properties back into use.”

To report an empty property or seek advice please contact the private sector team at NAC by emailing or by calling the council's dedicated advice line on 01294 324644.