IRATE Largs residents claim the council's plan to install a 'monstrous' 40ft chimney outside their homes will cost taxpayers over £750,000.

Locals living in the streets close to the Flatt Road development have been campaigning for a council u-turn since uncovering plans to install a biomass boiler and chimney on the site.

The group say that meetings with the council has revealed the system - which will be used to heat the 122 new homes - will cost a staggering £759k.

The council will hold a final drop in consultation for residents to have their concerns heard on October 8 at Largs Campus between 4pm and 6pm.

Residents were unaware of the chosen heating system until recently and claim that it had never been mentioned at previous consultation events.

They are now calling into question the financial decision and say that a gas-only build would not only be more suitable in a residential area - and cost just £268k.

Resident Gordon McArthur said: "The council have supplied us with reports and financial data to compare the build and running costs of the two.

"This has highlighted the biomass system will cost £492k more.

"Add to that the biomass system has also been costed at approximately £3,000 a year higher than the gas to run.

"So not only will this be a totally inappropriate industrial type construction being placed in a residential location, but it will also cost the taxpayers around half a million pound more to build and run this monstrosity.

"However, NAC appear to be happy to proceed on the basis that they will receive a central government subsidy of around £40k per year from the renewable heat incentive.

"So they say that after 12 years they will be square on costs.

"But of course this is not free money, these funds could in theory be used for other vital central services like the NHS, social care, education or even to fix the appalling state of our roads here in Largs.

"Surely this would be far more beneficial. It is not appropriate for Flatt Road.

"This decision should be reversed, especially as there is a good alternative solution easily available at a significantly lower overall cost to the taxpayer, with minimal impact."

The council say the assessment of the most appropriate heating system for the development will take a number of considerations into account, including environmental impact, carbon reduction, cost to the council and on-going running costs for residents.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: "We can confirm that no decision has been made regarding the proposed biomass system at Flatt Road, and no decision will be taken until after the consultation event."

Gordon added: "We would encourage as many residents as possible to attend the event and formally register their objections from an aesthetic, potential health risks and the financial perspective.

"Hopefully we will be able to convince the council with our arguments and proposals and they will amend their plans."

The consultation event will run on a drop-in basis from 4pm to 6pm, however to guarantee a place call 01294 324031 or email to by Friday 4 October.