THE firm behind a controversial cable manufacturing facility have been accused of 'secrecy' by a long-standing local councillor.

A planning application for further buildings on the proposed HDVC cable facility site immediately south of Fairlie is set to go before planning chiefs next week.

However Councillor Alan Hill has claimed that nobody knows what is going to be put inside the buildings at Hunterston - and says more clarity is needed before anything is rubber-stamped.

Cllr Hill said, “This is a controversial application with many for and many against it.

"As was outlined in the last edition of the News, most of those in support are keen to see the delivery of the promised 900 jobs.

"In the current economic climate, these are essential and very much to be welcomed, however that does not mean that we close our eyes to the possible environmental impact and other considerations associated with this project.

"As things stand, we are about to approve a whole series of buildings on a site only a few hundred metres from someone's home in one direction and right beside a site of special scientific interest in the other. All of this without having the faintest idea about what is going to happen within these buildings. That's not good enough in my book."

Last year the planning committee approved permission for a 185m high building on the site, which will be largest structure in Scotland and one of the largest anywhere outwith London.

Concerns were raised at the time about further applications coming forward without full details being provided of the workings behind the scenes of the overall proposal.

Councillor Hill continued: "Assurances were given that when it came back, it would be with full details, but there are none within these.

"I understand that the business may use large amounts of lead, undertake various chemical processes and produce quantities of methane. I also believe large quantities of ammonia will be stored on site, with manufacturing operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"It is inconceivable that XLCC are not aware of what is going to happen within these buildings. So why the secrecy?

"If you know how you propose to produce cable, and the processes are both safe and within permitted noise levels, why on earth would you not make this information available? It would be to rest the concerns of many local residents and potentially make the application much less controversial.

"It is simply incredible to me that it is possible in 2023 to apply for permission to erect some of the largest buildings in Scotland within a short distance of a town the size of Largs without revealing the full detail of what will go on inside them.

"I would very much like to see 900 new jobs in North Ayrshire, but I would also like to be convinced that this proposal is going to be a good neighbour to my constituents."

An XLCC spokesperson said: “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to engage and answer questions with both local councils (including North Ayrshire) and the local public either through direct conversations or via one of the many community engagement sessions we have run. We have always aimed to provide a greater level of detail than is required through the planning process as we endeavour to put forward the correct facts regarding the project – we know that there are a lot of false rumours circulating that we have attempted to correct. We are confident that the economic, environmental and social benefits of the project create substantial value for both the local communities, for Scotland and wider UK as a whole.”