COMMUNITY campaigners in Muirhead have saved their vital local hub.

Controversial proposals to change ownership of Muirhead Activity were rejected by South Ayrshire Council Community campaigners this week hailed it a victory for the people.

They had been trying to stop a proposed Community Asset Transfer of the building to Dundonald Gymnastics Club.

Following a sustained campaign, supported by the Ayr Advertiser series, the South Ayrshire Council Leadership Panel on Tuesday rejected a recommendation from officers to accept the proposal. After much deliberation the panel decided to reject the proposal and keep the Muirhead Activity Centre open as a multifunctional spor ts and activities centre.

But they are warning the fight is not yet all over as the applicant has the right of appeal.

Members of the Muirhead Tenants and Residents Association (MTRA,users groups and interested parties attended the meeting to hear the centre would not be the subject of a CAT transfer as this single use group would not be able to accommodate the existing users.

A South Ayrshire Council spokesman said: “Councillors decided to refuse the asset transfer of Muirhead Activity Centre and car park under Part 5 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 to Dundonald Gymnastics Club on the grounds that the benefits of the existing use outweighs the value of the alternative proposals made by Dundonald Gymnastics Club.

“It was further agreed that council staff would enter into discussions with Dundonald Gymnastics Club to explore alternative council premises that might serve their needs.”

Muirhead Tenants and Residents Association hailed the decision.

Chairwoman Frances Carson said: “I would say common sense has prevailed.

“This is a victory for the people.

“We were absolutely delighted with Councillor Philip Saxton, who spokeagainst the proposal at the meeting.

"Hopefully now the council have rejected it they would uphold the decision.

“It’s great news, we have been campaigning against this for months and we have have had great support from the Ayr Advertiser. But we know the applicant can appeal the decision so we will wait and see.”

Councill o r Philip Saxton said: “We are delighted with the outcome. The fact there were 1400 signatures in the petition outlined the feeling against the proposals.

“Other groups using the centre would not have been accommodated through the proposals.

There still has to a review of the centre so a lot of work has to be done.

“The applicant also has 20 days to appeal and that would be considered by the Audit and Governance Committee.

“Even if that was lost he could appeal to the Scottish Government so the legislation is weighted in favour of the applicant.”

Dundonald Gymnastics Club representative Scott Telford said: “I have no comment to make.”