FEARS that under-pressure public services in Largs could be pushed to breaking point by new housing developments have been quashed by the council leader.

With the NHS at 'crisis point' Cllr Joe Cullinane has moved to assuage concerns about the additional pressure which will be placed on local services - including the GP surgery.

With 123 new houses being built at the former Largs Academy, and more amenity and sheltered housing at the area of the former police station, plus residential plans for the former St Mary's Primary and Brisbane Primary, the town's population could increase significantly.

There is also new housing at St Beya Gardens in Millport, while the Regatta Apartments are being built by Dawn Homes in Fairlie.

Concerns have already been raised about access to local surgeries during the pandemic and there are questions about how the local infrastructure will cope in future.

But local authority leader Mr Cullinane says that everything has been taken into account during the planning process and he is confident that the town will be able to handle the influx.

Mr Cullinane said: "The infrastructure is assessed when you are looking at housing sites at various levels.

"The local development plan has to test that out in local community, so it's at the forefront of our mind

"There is a particular issue at the moment related to Covid with access to GP surgeries, and we have just seen announcements from Ayrshire & Arran health board around A&E.

"The health system in general is at a bit of a crisis point and we are aware of that, but when we are building these houses we take local infrastructure and school rolls into account."

North Ayrshire Council say they have one of the most ambitious and climate-conscious housing building programmes in the country.

The council’s cabinet has approved a five-year plan which includes a commitment to build 1,625 new homes in every part of North Ayrshire by 2027 – an increase of 50 new homes on the previous blueprint.

With more than 500 new homes already completed and around 350 currently in the process of being constructed, the council is well on the way to meeting that target.

New homes will benefit from a range of sustainable measures such as small scale district heating schemes.

By the end of this financial year, NAC will have installed almost new build 400 homes with solar PV panels, with a further 1,100 planned over the next five years.

The housebuilding programme will take the total investment in council developments to £171m during the period 2022-27.

Town centre projects include the redevelopment of the former Largs Police Station and adjacent former St Colm’s Place Sheltered Housing Complex, and the 123-unit Flatt Road development site which will promote independent living and feature innovative assistive technology.

But Mr Cullinane says that he would like to go even further on new housing - and he insists the town and surrounding area has the capacity to cope with more new-builds.

He said: "We are still on the lookout for areas of new housing in North Ayrshire.

"There is a commitment from me if we can source the land we will build more, given the housing challenges we face."