The giant Hunterston coal cranes are set to be dismantled at the end of this year, the 'News' can reveal.
A spokesperson for Peel Ports said: “Peel Ports is exploring a range of diverse opportunities focussed on more modern technologies, none of which require the heavy industrial assets previously utilised in the handling of coal. It is for this reason that the equipment is being dismantled.
“We are in advanced discussions with a number of companies who are interested in purchasing the assets but at this stage we are not in a position to confirm any details. However, we do expect to complete the dismantling work by the end of this year, which will allow us to prepare the site for new opportunities and maximise the port’s potential 
“Peel Ports remains committed to Hunterston PARC (Port and Resource Centre) and to utilising its unique advantages as a deep water port to attract new industries to the site, which will deliver economic growth and benefit the local area, North Ayrshire and the wider Scottish community.”
A meeting took place at Fairlie Village Hall on Monday evening regarding the new Clyde Marine Planning partnership, but a number of villagers turned up and voiced concerns about the future of the PeelPorts area with fears expressed over pollution in the Clyde from the decommissioning of oil and gas structures and vessels, and became the main source of discussion for the duration of the two hour meeting.
Cllr. Alan Hill urged the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership - a new body who will have a say on planning issues relating to the Clyde in future - to scrutinise the proposals which come forward, and said: "It is probably the biggest site that is going to be built next to the Clyde in terms of a commercial and brownfield development, and its subsequent impact."
However, Lady Glasgow told the audience that the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership that they could only provide scope for the water, and not land based developments, which were under the Local Planning Framework. Members of Fairlie Community Council stated that they had various pollution concerns in relation to the Southannan Sands site, with concerns that the SSSI site is being adversely effected. 
The Clyde Marine Planning Partnership stated that if Fairlie Community Council could provide them with evidence of any damage being done to the SSSI site then they could follow up any concerns.
The consultation into the Hunterston Marine Yard jetty extension finishes on March 8 after a recent public pre-consultation meeting was held at the Seamill Hydro, although Fairlie Community Council and Independent councillor Ian Murdoch say that there was a lack of information forthcoming in relation to the dock construction or construction of the abutments or caisson gates. Fairlie Community Council have issued a number of concerns in relation to the consultation on their website