A compromise has been reached between the council and campaigners in the fight to shape the future of Sandy Bay.

Resident Margaret Brown said the area was a ‘complete disgrace’, with sea grass covering a large area of the beach.

North Ayrshire Council had previously said that they would not be removing any grass from the beach, before a meeting between all parties which has now led to a compromise.

The council will continue their current approach to the management of the beach, however workers have removed a small strip of grass to allow a pathway to the shoreline.

Margaret, of Walkerston Avenue, says the meeting was not a success in her eyes and it is clear the council have made up their mind.

She said: “It’s a total mess and why should Largs as a tourist town not get it cut, but they agreed they would put a path down the middle to the water’s edge.

“They asked the volunteers to do it and I said no way, why should we do it when they’re not allowing us to cut all the grass.

“Why can Saltcoats beach get raked and they can’t do it at Largs, what’s the difference? I’m totally disgusted, I’ve washed my hands of the lot of them.

“They’ve made up their minds that they are not going to remove that grass, so the meeting wasn’t a success.”

Council chiefs say they will monitor the beach going forward but say that the large removal of grass and seaweed will have a detrimental impact to the area.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for the Green Deal and Sustainability, said: “We understand that there has been a long-running debate about what should be done at Sandy Bay and we welcome all viewpoints.

“We have sought advice from a range of partners and the widely-held view is that it is better for the longer-term sustainability of the beach to leave the Lyme Grass and strand line largely undisturbed.

“The grasses will encourage biodiversity and, as importantly, provide a natural protection to the paths and nearby houses to ensure these are preserved over the coming years.

“We are very much taking a long-term view on this and think the natural habitat should be maintained.”

Some local residents including Campbell Patterson are unhappy with the campaign by Margaret and others, and they want to see Sandy Bay kept in its current condition to protect the area for the future.

Campbell said: “The sand dunes are still recovering after a couple of storms followed by a severe storm in January 2014 when they were totally washed away.

“Any further storms that year would have washed away the much used and loved cycle path which had just been laid and we have photographs to show how vulnerable it was.

“These sand dunes are a vital protection both to the wall of this estate which residents have to maintain and to the cycle path which the council has to maintain.

“Please accept that sand dunes are totally natural along the Ayrshire coastline and they have had no effect on people visiting the beach this summer.”

Councillor Ian Murdoch attended the meeting and says he is happy with the compromise between both sides.

He said: “I think the meeting was useful and hopefully moving forward that area will be kept as clean and tidy as possible.

“I’m really happy with the end result, it could have been a lot worse, I don’t want to see residents taking unlawful direct action and digging up the beach.”