Multi-million pound housing plan for outskirts of Ayr given green light in bid to address country's housing 'crisis'

-Credit: (Image: Inkdesign Architecture)
-Credit: (Image: Inkdesign Architecture)

A £48m housing plan on the outskirts of Ayr - that includes almost 350 new homes - has been approved by South Ayrshire councillors.

The local authority’s Regulatory Panel (Planning) granted planning permission, in principle, for the massive development on land to the east of the A77 from Holmston Roundabout to Bankfield Roundabout.

At a meeting on Tuesday, a motion by Councillor Mary Kilpatrick and seconded by Cllr Alan Lamont, to grant the application, subject to “identification of appropriate conditions” and also subject to “legal agreements, as required,” won over an amendment by Cllr Ian Cavana to refuse the application, Cllr Kilpatrick’s motion winning by four votes to three.

The proposals, with a construction value placed at £48m, also includes class 1 “commercial developments” such as retail; class 2 “professional services” and class 3 food and drink outlets and office space with associated access.

The proposed site lies to the south-east of Holmston roundabout, Ayr, over an area of approximately 34 hectares.

As many as 88 homes could be built for affordable housing, 110 jobs could be created during the construction phase and a new pedestrian/cyclist underpass under the A77 is being mooted to facilitate a “safe crossing.”

Behind the plans are Glasgow-based property consultancy firm Iceni Projects Ltd, who submitted proposals on behalf of their client James Craig Ltd.

A glimpse of what the new homes could look like
A glimpse of what the new homes could look like -Credit:Brindley Associates

More than 50 objections were lodged with South Ayrshire Council and concerns included the potential for increased traffic, increased pressure on school roll numbers, lack of infrastructure and the loss of valuable green belt land.

Chairman Kenneth Bell picked up on council officers’ papers that claimed it was “not clear” whether the possibility of dualling of the A77 from Whitletts to Holmston Roundabouts was “viable and deliverable.” Cllr Bell called that a “worry.”

Council papers also claimed that the application “had not demonstrated” that there is a “need” for a residential development in the area concerned.

The papers also claimed there was “no evidence” to suggest that the development would result in a “net economic benefit” or “contribute significantly” to the implementation of the Ayrshire Growth Deal, the “regeneration” of Ayr, or result in “overriding community interest.”

Despite planning officers’ advice to reject the proposals, Cllr Kilpatrick’s motion, which she said was necessary to “address the housing crisis, as declared by the Scottish Government,” was carried by a narrow margin.

More plans are expected to be submitted in the coming months detailing exactly the type and size of housing - including other associated works that will be required - to be built on the site.

In their Statement of Community Benefit, Iceni Projects Ltd said: “The proposed development would provide a significant contribution to the community by providing new homes including much needed affordable homes, new active travel infrastructure including a safe crossing of the A77, road infrastructure improvements and socio-economic benefits."

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