A proposal for a controversial solar farm on Cumbrae has been rejected by North Ayrshire Council's planning committee. 

Comsol Energy had submitted the application for the site, which sits at Wee Minnemoer next to the island's highest point.

It would have covered around one per cent of the island on moorland that is currently used for grazing.

More than 100 residents staged a protest at the proposed site in February. 

North Ayrshire Council's planning committee met this afternoon to consider the proposal, with council planning officers recommending it be approved.

Councillor Tom Marshall spoke on behalf of the North Coast ward and its councillors, and called the application "speculative" and "inappropriate" for the island. 

Dr Gregor Harvie then spoke on behalf of Cumbrae Community Council, and pointed out that 350 written comments were received on the application, with 98 per cent of those against the proposal. 

Dr Harvie pointed out the island community's key objections to the application, including the location, environmental impact and the effect on Cumbrae's tourist trade.

Representatives from Comsol Energy then put forward their pitch, asking elected members to support their application. 

They hit back at some of the issues raised by campaigners, and pointed out that a similar proposal was approved back in 2016.

They acknowledged there were objections from the community, but said these concerns had been answered and urged the application be given the green light.

Councillor Jim Mongomerie questioned why homes in Millport are not permitted to put solar panels on their roofs without planning permission, but that a solar farm should then be allowed to be built. 

Councillor Cameron Inglis asked the applicant why Cumbrae was the best area to put the solar farm, and representatives said the site was chosen as it was suitable for the development in their view. 

Councillor Ian Murdoch asked how the applicant could claim little impact on the land, when the solar farm takes up an area of around 20 football pitches. 

The applicant explained that mitigation would be put in place including screening to decrease its visual impact.

A vote was then taken on the application, with Councillor Timothy Billings proposing a motion that the application was not supported. Cllr Murdoch seconded the refusal.

The motion was backed by the rest of the planning committee.