CONCERN is growing over plans to build 85 new homes on a greenfield site in Kilwinning.

Keepmoat submitted plans for the development on a vacant greenfield site to the north of Hazeldene Park and west of the B778 in late July.

A dozen objections have now been lodged with North Ayrshire Council (NAC) against the proposals for the site at Mossculloch Farm.

Several of the objectors voice concern at the plan to build on a greenfield site - though the land is zoned for housing in NAC's local development plan.

One objector says that allocating the land for housing goes against the council's strategies on sustainability and climate change.

"It is clear that the proposed development at Mossculloch Farm conflicts with several objectives within the strategy," they stated.

"Mossculloch Farm has had three fields conjoined, which up until last summer supported cattle with calves at foot in spring through to autumn.

"The habitat, including the adjacent Thread Mill Burn, has a rich diversity of insect, mammal, amphibian and bird species.

"Despoliation of this site with the impact of 85 houses on a greenfield site will in large part destroy this biodiversity."

The same objector said the plans did not support government policies on encouraging people not to travel by car.

Keepmoat's proposals are for a mix of three and four bedroomed homes, on a site well away from public transport routes.

"How can 85 houses of three and four bedrooms with their associated population of private cars which is not on a bus route support this strategy?" the objector added.

The same objector - not identified on the council's planning website - said Kilwinning had no shortage of 'brownfield' sites better suited to housing.

They concluded: "A simple internet search identifies numerous planning applications throughout local authorities in Scotland where proposals for development on greenfield sites have been refused and the reasons for refusal.

"North Ayrshire Council should observe the reasons for these unsuccessful applications and whilst doing so observe its own planning and sustainability policies and strategies and those of the Scottish Government."

Other objectors cited concern at the capacity of Kilwinning's existing infrastructure to cope with the proposed new homes.

One said: "Kilwinning Medical Centre and Oxenward Medical Centre are already oversubscribed and under pressure, to the extent that services are on occasion unavailable because of lack of clinical staff.

"The occupants of the proposed 85 three and four bedroom houses would inevitability impose additional pressure upon these services.

"Dental practices are already closed to new applications. Primary Schools and Kilwinning Academy would be placed under additional pressure."

The Keepmoat proposal is the major housing application to be submitted for the town in less than a year.

Back in October 2022, a 426-house Persimmon Homes development was approved by North Ayrshire Council for a site at West Byrehill, due to be completed in the next 10 years.

In February of this year, CCG Homes applied to build 115 properties in vacant land just off Nethermains Road. This application is still pending consideration.

Concern has also been expressed that the Keepmoat proposals, for larger two-storey homes, do not meet the "clear demand" for other types of housing.

One objector said: "This is yet another private housing development with no provision of single storey houses despite the clear demand that exists in the town.

"Many residents wish to remain in the town but the lack of bungalows makes it impossible for many to downsize from larger houses. More bungalows would free up larger properties for younger families.

"Therefore, this proposal does not meet the needs and demands of the local population and builds more two storey houses than are required."

Though Keepmoat have now moved to try and allay fears regarding the development and the objections raised in relation to it.

Commenting on the plans to redevelop the land, Ross Martindale, Technical Director at Keepmoat, Scotland said: “Before submitting planning we coordinated both a community consultation event and an independent assessment into the land.

"The latter found the site at Kilwinning is not subject to any environmental designations of local or national importance. The assessment also found that the site makes limited contributions to biodiversity. Any habitats within the site, such as hedgerows, will be preserved and enhanced where possible. 

“The proposed development includes the provision of a high-quality amenity space, communal and private growing space and gardens which provide opportunities for biodiversity enhancement.

"The proposals will incorporate an area of Sustainable Drainage Systems which will provide a sustainable flood risk solution and an additional biodiverse habitat.

“In addition, the site is allocated for housing in the North Ayrshire local development plan and will feature a diverse range of new homes to give buyers at different stages of the property ladder an opportunity to purchase a home. It is also within walking distance of bus stops and a train station.

“We are continuing to work directly with residents to collect their feedback so we can ensure that the development will benefit local people, the local community and the local environment.”

It is understood the application is likely to be decided by councillors on NAC's planning committee, rather than being determined by officials under 'delegated powers'.

Kilwinning councillor Joe Cullinane, who will not be part of that decision as he does not sit on the committee, said he is aware of the objections and sympaphises with those who have brought them to light.

He commented: “I am aware of several objections being submitted against this planning application.

"Whilst I am not a member of the planning committee, I know that the members of the committee will consider the objections seriously - but that their decision must ultimately be made on planning grounds.

"The committee often faces difficult decisions because the reality is that Scotland’s planning system is still weighted in favour of developers over communities.

"The fact developers have the right to appeal planning decisions, but communities objecting to an application don’t, illustrates the democratic deficit at the heart of our planning system.”

The planning application can be viewed in full online at