PORT bosses have been given the go-ahead to alter the quay on the north side of Hunterston Construction Yard.
The green light has been given despite concerns from residents.
Peel Ports won approval at a council planning meeting but Cumbrae Community Council chairman Phil Lonsdale fears the area could become a 'dumping ground' - right in front of tourism viewpoints on the island.
Mr Lonsdale added: "We appreciate that jobs are important to the local area, but not at any cost to our local environment."
Fairlie Community Council had objected to the Peel Ports application, saying the proposed formation of the quay and dredging would have a detrimental impact on the Scottish Site of Scientific Interest at Hunterston (SSSI).
However, North Ayrshire Council say the dredging that is proposed does not require planning permission and is controlled by Marine Scotland. 
The site is reclaimed land that has historically been used for industry and the application is to 're-orientate and increase the size of the hammerhead quay'.
The existing quay is rectangular in shape, measuring approximately 67 metres long, 20 metres wide with a maximum jetty height of six metres.
The new quay would be approximately 100 metres long and 30 metres wide with a maximum jetty height of six metres.
Fairlie community councillor David Telford said: "Planning permission for major marine work at Hunterston was granted without the applicant being requested to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to support the application.
"This work will now include major and extensive civil and marine engineering operations, including oil rig decommissioning, all immediately adjacent to a site of special scientific interest, a live nuclear power station, an area renowned for its breathtaking scenery and marine mammal life and other important tourism and leisure related facilities." 
SNP councillor Alan Hill has criticised the fact that no environmental statement was necessary for the application.
But the council planning department stated: "This application is for the formation of a new quay. Any decommissioning of structures, control over noise and operation of such structures is not relevant to this application. Similarly any concerns regarding pollution associated with the use of the site are not relevant to this proposal."