A movement to create a new recreation development in Fairlie was rejected.
Plans to build a garden center and restaurant on a site near the North Ayrshire village bowling club were rejected by councilors.
It came despite claims as many as 30 full-time and part-time jobs could be created.
Plaintiff David Castelvecchi filed plans for the 5,100 square meter site on land north of the Fairlie Bowling Club near Main Road.
A restaurant and cafe, as well as a parking lot and garden center – intended to occupy 407 square meters – with an outdoor planting area, have been included in the plan.
But the move has come under close scrutiny by the North Ayrshire Council planning committee, thanks to a history of cat-and-mouse apps on the site.
The first, in 2001 for a new bowling club and garden / craft center, was postponed.
A follow-up request in 2010 for a bar and restaurant was also turned down, before a similar offer was finally supported by the committee in 2013.
But permission expired in 2016 when development had not taken place, then a 2017 plan for 19 housing units was rejected amid fears it represented “unwarranted development in the countryside” and could “create an undesirable precedent for other unwarranted developments “.
Scottish government planners backed the council’s decision not to zone the site for development as part of their local development plan.
The committee heard that the housing plan was unrelated to the site’s current applicant.
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Planners recommended the latest plan for the site for denial when it was submitted to the committee last week.
Councilors learned that there had been six objections and one representation received to the plans, including concerns about impact on wildlife and biodiversity loss, flooding concerns, and fears about access and the circulation.
But planners say that although a “tiny corner of the site” is part of a local nature conservation site, it is not believed that “the overall integrity” would be compromised. Transport Scotland also said there were no objections.
Council planning director James Miller told the meeting: “The claim is that this would provide service facilities for the village of Fairlie, help the recovery of Covid for the area and help encourage tourists , it also has the potential to create 30 full and part-time jobs. “
But planners recommended refusing the offer, noting that it violated policies 15 and strategic policy 2 of the North Ayrshire Local Development Plan, as: “inappropriate development that would undermine the Fairlie framework”, with concerns about the “potential for visual and physical coalescence along the coast”, and fears that this “will set an undesirable precedent for other unjustified developments and have an unacceptable impact on the Special Landscape Area”.
They say it would also be contrary to North Ayrshire LDP policy 17 for failing to “take into account the broader objectives” of Clyde Murshiel Regional Park.
Councilor Robert Barr disagreed with the planning officers, telling the meeting: “My opinion is that this is just wasteland, it’s no use, it’s just sitting there, but this is only an opinion.
“The planners have accepted and accepted large housing projects in Fairlie, with little or no amenities, I think they have a little sandwich shop or something, I’m not going to offer anything, because you know I don’t not successfully winning proposals when planning but just reporting that it was accepted in 2013 ”.
Councilor Robert Foster moved that the request be denied “for the reasons described in the officer’s report”, seconded by Councilor Shaun Macaulay.
Dalry and West Kilbride Councilor Barr seconded an amendment from Councilor Ronnie McNicol, supporting approval of the bid.
Councilors, however, voted five to four in favor of the motion to reject the plan.
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