A controversial third plan for a demolished site at the bottom of Ayr High Street will be decided this week.

South Ayrshire Council’s latest proposal was to go in front of councillors on Tuesday at the Regulatory Panel planning meeting.

The bid includes a new public park, community building and the knocking down of an historic town house bordering the former Woolworths plot. 

Thirteen objections have been lodged against the development including one from Fort, Seafield and Wallacetown Community Council.

A number of residents have voiced concern about demolishing the crumbling former Savers building but planning documents state it is in a “dangerous condition.”

The fate of the riverfront zone has been up in the air since 2016 when it was decided to demolish a block of old buildings. 

Two proposals were put forward for the site, which included council offices, but both have been abandoned. A third design has now been produced. 

South Ayrshire Council officials have recommended its approval – even though planners consider the community pavilion is contrary to local development plan (LDP) policy. 

A council report prepared for councillors said: “On balance, the re-development of the brownfield site is considered to be of over-riding community interest which will contribute significantly to the regeneration of Ayr town centre. Accordingly, the application is recommended for approval, subject to conditions.”

Michael Hitchon, president of the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society, wants to see the old Savers building retained and used for housing. 

His objection said: “The Riverside Site is the most prestigious and sensitive development site in South Ayrshire, acknowledged to be of national significance because it is surrounded by so many listed buildings including the Auld Brig, the New Brig, Ayr Town Buildings, recently conserved properties in New Bridge Street and others in the High Street. 

“We are looking to South Ayrshire Council and their partner architect ASL to produce a Conservation Area Enhancement Scheme and this is disappointing.”

He said the design of the “community meeting room pays no respect to the surrounding buildings in the conservation area.”

He added: “We call for refusal of the current application. Please try harder.”