I would like to bring to the notice of the people of North Ayrshire that the Council has recently published the final draft of its Local Development Plan. This plan will have a huge impact on our areas and its Communities.
I recently put a motion to the Council regarding three separate areas at Hunterston, a very large part of which is already identified in the National Planning Framework 2 (Scottish Executive Planning) and the North Ayrshire Council as IND4, (designated for industrial development).
My motion was simply to add to the IND4 designation, by including references to the areas potential for the development of tourism. Unfortunately, despite support from several other Councillors, my motion was defeated by the chairs casting vote.
The Hunterston Peninsula contains a unique combination of breathtaking coastal views over the Firth of Clyde, the Cumbrae islands and Arran, unspoilt hill and woodland environments and historic buildings (Portencross Castle, Hunterston House and Castle), all connected by informal footpaths and cycle ways. It has considerable potential as a natural park and outdoor recreation destination, linked to other attractions in the area.
Despite this, what has the Scottish Government and North Ayrshire Council identified for our beautiful area? A coal fire power station, a container hub, a marine decommissioning yard etc.
In reality these are not likely to come to fruition, because the infrastructure is not there to support them, either by road or rail. The latest dismal prospect for the area is three massive wind turbines over 600 feet high to sit there and be monitored for the next five years.
I urge the people of North Ayrshire to write in to the North Ayrshire Council Planning Deparment and object to the exclusion of TOURISM in the plan for Hunterston. We have until 24 June in which to do so. We can also write to the Scottish Government's Planners and voice our opinion, we don't have to sit back and except all these monstrosities they are proposing for our area.
Councillor Elizabeth McLardy MBE