Notification of upcoming timber felling works at Southannan Estate from North Ayrshire Council will result in significant timber haulage movements in the area.

We reported last year how an application had been made for the axing of 21,515 trees in the back hills behind the village of Fairlie.

Scottish Forestry carried out a consultation on a proposal to fell around 27 hectares of trees on the North Southannan Estate.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Permission was sought from the governing body to cut down mature conifers in the area, including Sitka spruce, Scots pine and mixed conifers.

The application stated: "Due to the exposed nature and soil conditions it is considered that the majority of the trees have reached a terminal height.

"The existing windblown areas will increase over time and could potentially become a safety issue.

"This is being consider as an opportunity to return some compartments to the semi natural habitats they have historically been."

The forestry operators have a right to use public roads to extract timber unless the road is restricted to all HGVs.

North Ayrshire Council, however, are part of the Timber Transport Forum and work in collaboration with the timber industry to minimise the impact on the public road.

A council spokesperson said: “In this case the operator has provided an extraction plan with the majority of timber being extracted via the Fairlie Moor Road (6,000 tonnes) and C26 - Kilkrusken Road (2,000 tonnes).

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

"There are approximately 100-200 tonnes proposed to be extracted via Montgomerie Drive (approximately five to 10 loads) which will be restricted to times best suited to local residents.

“North Ayrshire Council have now had notification of the intention to commence timber haulage on Fairlie Moor Road and then Kilrusken Road.

“It is expected that timber haulage will commence at the end of January and end in June and will involve approximately eight loads per day (16 vehicle movements) Monday to Friday between 6am and 6pm, excluding school run hours."

North Ayrshire Council say that they have not been notified of the commencement of timber haulage via Montgomerie Drive but have asked for sufficient notification as to when haulage will take place.

North Coast councillor Todd Ferguson said: "I have raised a number of concerns on behalf of local residents in Montgomerie Drive and surrounding areas regarding the log movements, and the company are also looking at a storage area as part of it.

"The council does not have a lot of remit on the movement but do have influence on where they are moving it through, and concerns have been raised not just in relation to Montgomerie Drive, but also Fairlie Moor Road and then Kilrusken Road. Fairlie Moor Road is very narrow but all the issues have been relayed back to the haulage company and they say that there is not going to be an issue.

"The first phase of the works are in relation to Fairlie Moor Road and then Kilrusken Road, with the next phase being Montgomerie Drive.

"Like within anything in these kind of works being carried out, you are looking for the company involved to be good neighbours and respectful of the pressures placed on local residents be it noise, disruption, and the use of certain routes which will have an impact on locals, and having awareness of sensitivities.

"Like when any general big operations start up and running if there is any complaint from local residents, they should be taken up with the council though the normal channels."

Council comment to follow.