COMMUNITY councillors in Largs have voiced support for plans to set up a new soft play area in a former town centre bar.

Proposals have been lodged with North Ayrshire Council to convert the vacant premises at 144 Main Street - formerly The Sheiling public house - into a soft play facility for children.

Members of Largs Community Council (LCC) welcomed the plans - though concerns were raised at parking in the vicinity of the site.

But the applicant's agent says there are plenty of public parking facilities a few minutes' walk away - and that the site is close to good public transport links.


As recently reported by the News, proposals have been lodged by Rebecchi Architectural, on behalf of Leanna McCarthy, to convert the premises.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The News reported in September that the former public house was set to be revived after new tenants were found. 

The pub closed in the mid-2010s and despite efforts to revive it, the site has been lying empty for several years.

The new facility will be the first soft play centre in Largs since the closure some years ago of the facility at Vikingar! on the seafront.

A statement in support of the application, published on the council's website, says the centre would be open seven days, between 8.30am and 5.45pm.

Community councillor Jim Perman, who heads LCC's planning sub committee, said: "There appears to be a possible problem with parking, and overall, it doesn't seem that big.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

"There are four tables with four seats and a bit in the middle with play equipment.

"We take our granddaughter to a soft play area in Greenock - and it is half a warehouse. It is first class and well run. I am not objecting to [the Largs plan], but it does seem a bit wee."

Chairman Jim Phillips agreed and said: "Although it does look small, it is the kind of thing we absolutely need in town - and I have no objection to it."

Patricia Perman remarked that there would be car parking for two hours available directly across the road when Marks and Spencer Foodhall opens for Christmas 2024, with a traffic light pedestrian crossing also installed there a few years ago

Secretary Linda Smith also said she had no objections as the "town really needs it", with Jamie Black pointing out that it wasn't a particularly big soft play area which was based at the Vikingar! either,.

The applicants say the development is aimed at locals rather than the tourism market.

The community council agreed to support the application.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The developers state: "The property is located on the Main Street of Largs in front of a T-junction, with no space for parking available on or off the road.

"However, the proposed soft play is intended to be primarily used by people living within the local area, being situated in the heart of Largs and near a local nursery. There are multiple areas for public parking within a maximum of five minute walking distance. 

"It is also within walking distance of multiple housing estates. Public transport connections are also located nearby, with multiple bus routes going through Main Street, with a bus stop to the west of the property, 

"As well as this, the railway station is situated just a five minute walk west  ensuring that ample public transport options are available to serve the proposed soft play."