PLANS to build new modern homes in Girvan for local travellers are underway.

Seven chalet styled bungalows will be erected, with the project due to be completed later this year.

The project, worth £1.54million, is being funded by South Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government.

Six of the new properties will be three-bedroom houses and the spare will be constructed into a six-bed home.

Councillor Philip Saxton, South Ayrshire’s Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, said: “With work now underway the local traveling community can soon look forward to modern, affordable homes which are energy efficient and cheap to run.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their patience in what has been a prolonged process, but it’s been important to deliver a project which meets the needs of the Row brewing over Girvan travellers’ new homes community.

“I’m sure the travelling community will be pleased with the end result and look forward to seeing the completed project.”

The plan replaces the old Houdston site, which was destroyed by storm damage in 2015.

The travellers who used to occupy this old location currently stay on another part of the Troweir Road site and have been there since their old homes were swept away with flooding three years ago.

This project will enable the families who live there good access to schools, public transport, health and other frontline services which have been provided since they arrived.

However, the news has been met with a sense of disbelief among the towns residents.

One said: “Is the clue not in the word ‘travellers’? Why are we not just laying down appropriate hard standing and wash facilities, why three bedrooms and one six bedroom properties?”

Another local added: “One million pounds to build this site – do you think the money could be better spent on teaching staff or the state of South Ayrshire’s roads?”

The building work will be carried out by McTaggart Construction.

Gary Climson, a spokesman for the company, said: “We’re proud to be working in partnership with South Ayrshire Council and the members of Girvan’s travelling community to deliver these much needed new homes.”

The company are hopeful to have the development completed by September 2019.