Hundreds of people have signed an online petition slamming plans for a new Ayr Leisure Centre.

Over 700 people had signed the petition, set up by objector John Ferguson, by Wednesday morning.

The opening statement to the petition reads: “South Ayrshire Council want to build a new £45m leisure Centre in Ayr High Street, the cost has already risen from an initial estimate of £40m.

READ MORE: First glimpses of proposed Ayr leisure centre as contractor appointed

“This is to replace the existing Citadel Leisure Centre which, for a fraction of the cost, requires an upgrade.

“There are other more pressing needs in Ayr that could do with financial help e.g. north Ayr, Ayr High Street, Ayr Station, Belleisle Hotel, Ayr Promenade, local roads etc.

“The proposed Leisure Centre will not have as many activity opportunities as the present one e.g. high diving board, large multipurpose hall.

READ MORE: Ayr’s new leisure centre will cost more than £41 million budgeted for, council officers admit

“The latter is presently used by several outside bodies such as Blood Donation and Antique Fairs as well as a recent Covid injection centre. There is no other multi-use public recreation hall as large as this in Ayr.

“SAC claim that a ‘consultation’ with the public has shown support for this move but this consultation was with an extremely small percentage of the population that either live within the Ayr area or use the existing facilities.

“We believe that this project is financially unwarranted; the consultation is merely a tick-box exercise and some of the support reasoning put forward as by SAC is unrealistic.

“If you agree with this petition, please support it.”

READ MORE: Future of Ayr's diving history may not be set in stone just yet

If the petition is submitted to South Ayrshire Council it will be subject to the council’s petition procedure, going before the chair of the Partnership Panel, Conservative Councillor Hugh Hunter and Head of Regulatory Services Catriona Caves.

The council states: “When an application for a petition is received, the Head of Regulatory Services will consider the issues raised in light of the preceding provisions and, through discussion with the Chair of the Partnerships Panel, determine whether it is appropriate for the Panel to consider the petition.

“The Head of Regulatory Services will reach a decision and notify the lead petitioner, or contact the lead petitioner to seek clarification on the terms of the petition, within 20 working days of receipt of the petition.”

The petition can be found here.