A SCENIC view used to promote the local area will disappear - if controversial plans for a housing development are given the green light.

Residents have slammed the move to build 175 new properties in West Kilbride, pointing out that the picturesque landscape that features on the front page of the local development plan would actually vanish if the proposal goes ahead.

Developers RDK Construction want to develop farm fields adjacent to Summerlea Road and the A78, but locals fear it would bring public services to breaking point, as well as destroying the countryside.

Resident Graham Buckley says the plan must be halted.

He told the News: "Landscape makes Scotland what it is.

"It is ironic that we have a view over West Kilbride towards Seamill and Arran as the cover for the local development plan, yet this is what what be destroyed if this plan is approved.

"This development would result in the destruction of prime arable land which often delivers two crops per year, currently growing barley for the whisky industry and potatoes."

Fellow resident David Campbell CBE believes the sites provide an important tourism attraction along the A78 coastal road towards the Isle of Arran

He says that both sides are within the settlement boundary and classified as countryside - and should stay that way.

He claims the area includes 'prime agricultural areas', which is still in use for crop growing and insists there is a presumption against development on such land in Scottish planning policy.

The proposal to build on the sites has already been ruled against by two different Scottish Government reporters in the recent past.

Residents say they are tired of having to fight housing bids every five years and want to see more done to protect the local landscape.

Mr Campbell added: "Despite the need for new housing being forecast to fall, there appears to be new housing zones in West Kilbride and Seamill, far greater than any other area in North Ayrshire."

He says there is also inadequate educational provision locally to accommodate the development, adding: "These types of developments are placing intolerable strain on public services, including the local GP surgery which is struggling to meet the demands of the existing population."

"In conclusion these sites should remain classified as countryside and continue to provide views that encourage tourists to come here."

George Coughley, a retired builder who lives in West Kilbride, said: "There is a need for one bedroom social housing in North Ayrshire but that field isn't going to supply that. A beautiful view and nice open space would be wrecked by 175 houses. The view would be obscured for residents and visitors alike.

"There seems to be so much development without consideration to destroying natural beauty. It is crucial for the preservation of green spaces, glens, hills and a beach, which we all enjoy.

"Let's develop parts of the village that are derelict, tired and need replacing. Provide affordable housing in or on the brownfield sites that exist in the village."

The local development consultation ends on on 29 June and a reporter appointed by Scottish ministers will consider all representations and provide recommendations before any decision is reached.