East Ayrshire homes plan rejected by council
Plans to build 28 new homes have been rejected by East Ayrshire Council over fears that ancient trees would be destroyed.
Helix Homes Ltd and their agents Stairhill Architecture Ltd previously submitted plans for a new 1.6-hectare development at woodland north of Nether Quadrant and Netherplace Quadrant in Mauchline.
However, some objectors warned that as many as 315 trees, some of them hundreds of years old, faced destruction if the application was approved.
The application involved the construction of 28 properties of varying sizes, from one storey/ two-bedroom bungalows, to larger five bedroom detached/two-storey units with associated infrastructure and landscaping.
However, East Ayrshire Council argued that the proposal went against various elements of the council’s local development plan 2017, according to papers, the Ayrshire Post reports.
A description of the site stated that the woodland was once the ground of Nether Place mansion house, dating from 1620, and re-developed at various points, before being demolished in the 1960s.
However, concerns arose over the number of ancient trees that would need to be axed, the loss of habitat and the effect it would have on bats living in the woodland.
Mauchline Community Council raised concerns about the mature trees in the area, while some objectors raised the prospect of a potential loss of a rural walking route from the top to the bottom of the village.
A report from an East Ayrshire Council Greener Communities arboricultural officer raised concerns over the “proposed loss of so many trees within the woodland” - both from “an amenity perspective” and also from a “safety perspective”.
The report added: “Building houses in and around trees can lead to major safety concerns where main structural roots are severed during development, leaving trees prone to wind blow during storms and being close to property, causing future structural damage and/injury.”