North Ayrshire Council’s renovation works at Ardrossan Cemetery are ‘disrespectful’ and have seen dumper trucks ‘driving over graves’, a local resident has claimed.

Work, which includes the creation of a new Garden of Remembrance for cremated remains and the removal of a wall, started on September 16 and is expected to last around 12 weeks from that date.

Before carrying out the works, the council published a notice, which stated: “Due to the close proximity of the wall to headstones, the headstones on either side of the wall will require to be dismantled to allow the wall to be taken down. Thereafter a new memorial foundation will be installed, and all the headstones will be re-erected.”

But one mourner said that the renovation works had left the cemetery looking “more like a builder’s yard” than a place of rest and blasted the council for showing “a lack of respect”.

This week, when the resident paid a visit to the resting places of his grandparents and uncle, he was horrified to find that their plots – along with other graves – had been damaged with tyre marks.

The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Herald: “A lot of graves have been driven over. I get they need access but there are roads for that. It’s pretty disrespectful.

“North Ayrshire Council have a lot to answer for.

“It’s more like a builder’s yard. There’s a wall been either knocked down with tools and a dumper sitting, headstones been removed from their rightful place and a metal unit hut-type thing sitting in middle of it all.

“It's an absolute shambles. I have family and friends buried in there, as I’m sure many other people have.

“I heard they were contractors who were hired to extend the cemetery, but I see nothing but lack of respect for the people buried in the cemetery. I was angry at the sheer disrespect.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We are carrying out essential works at the cemetery and have taken up the complaints noted with the contractor carrying out the works.

“We notified all title holders and advertised in the local press prior to works starting. Works are on schedule to be completed by the end of the year.”