The Ayrshire Hospice has been given the go ahead for a major expansion at its Racecourse Road home.

South Ayrshire Council approved proposals to extend the premises into the surrounding gardens, increase the footprint of the site by incorporating an adjacent house, and increase parking and access routes.

The hospice is centred on two 200-year-old listed buildings and has been operating since 1989.

A report to councillors on the authority's Regulatory Panel stated there had been no ‘over-riding’ concerns raised during a consultation that could not be addressed by planning conditions.

It added: “The assessment also concludes that it is materially significant that the proposals have a wider community benefit, in terms of facilitating the continuation and improvement of the established community palliative healthcare facilities at the site for the benefit of residents of South, North and East Ayrshire.”

The hospice facilities and services are provided in two detached buildings, which were originally formed of two storey detached sandstone villas which date from around 1820.

The buildings have been altered and extended over the years to provide additional accommodation, including a modern two storey extension.

The adjacent villa has also been extended in stages over the years, with the major creation a 20-person in-patient unit.

One of the villas and several other buildings, such as the coach house and dovecot, are B-listed buildings.

The application sought permission for a series of works, including a replacement single storey extension with a grass roof to the side and rear, to replace the existing in-patient unit, and a new in-patient unit, with room for 18 patients instead of the current 20, providing individual en-suite bedrooms.

What else will be included in the work?

  • An interlinking extension at the frontage of the site connecting the existing villas and restoration of the former dovecot building for ancillary accommodation
  • An extension of the curtilage incorporating the grounds and property at 15 Ronaldshaw Park into the hospice, to be used as an office, and ancillary staff accommodation
  • The removal of the existing garage and out-buildings, and formation of a new access
  • The relocation of the ancillary ‘Wee House’ accommodation
  • Additional parking
  • Tree removal and compensatory tree and landscape replanting

The hospice says the work not only consolidates of the service onto a single hospice site, but also allows management to permanently move to a new hybrid, virtual and community based operating model which has been adopted since the pandemic started.

The ‘Wee House’ is a small building located in the walled garden and provides emergency ancillary overnight accommodation for families of patients in the hospice.

Councillors on the Regulatory Panel (Planning) approved the application.