AN illegal road cutting through a protected wildlife park must be removed say North Ayrshire council.

A notice ordering a developer to remove the track, which tears through scenic landscape near Kilbirnie, has been issued.

Councillor Robert Foster said the unauthorised track is environmental “vandalism.”

The area is home to the endangered Hen Harrier bird of prey.

Bosses have demanded that the ground within the Wild Land and Special Protection Area in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park be returned to its natural state.

Some sections of track were allowed as part of the construction of a hydro electric power scheme but a700 metre unauthorised extension to the track was spotted in the Renfrewshir e Height s Special Protection Area by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Councillor Barr said: “To reinstate (the land) would take years. There is a chance that it would make a good walk way path.

“Taking it away is nonsense.”

Council senior planning manager Jim Miller said it was a “serious breach”.

He said the park is one of only a “few areas in Scotland” with this wildlife designation.

He accused the developer of being aware of the designation and ignoring it to the detriment of the area.

The developer in question was not named.

Ashrona Power Systems previously received planning permission to build the hydro electric plant in February 2019 alleged that the track as formed differed to that illustrated in the documents associated with the planning with a defined track.

A report presented to the committee said : “ A complaint received from Scottish Natural Heritage permission.”

It added: “Some 700 metres having been constructed within the Special Protection Area.”