AFTER more than five years of work, decision day is looming for a planned new watersports centre hub in Troon.

Members of South Ayrshire Council’s regulatory panel for planning will meet on Thursday, September 15 to consider the application by the Troon Water Sports Committee (TWSC) for a shoreside site off North Shore Road.

According to papers published ahead of the meeting, 163 expressions of support have been lodged with the local authority since the plans were officially validated at the end of May – while there have also been three objections.

The TWSC, which was formed in September 2017, is seeking permission for a U-shaped ‘hub’ building on the 1.7-hectare site – part of which was home to the former Troon Sailing Club – featuring changing rooms, indoor and outdoor showers, toilets, a training room and community space, an office, dry store and community cafe.

It’s planned that – if permission is granted – the hub will offer instruction and rental for windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kite surfing and ‘bio karts’, as well as ‘team-building opportunities, wellbeing activities and marine and environmental awareness’.

Electric bike charging points also form part of the TWSC proposals.

The application says the plan is for the building to operate from 10am-4pm on weekdays and 10am-6pm on weekends in spring, summer and autumn, and from 9.30am or 10am until 3pm from Wednesday-Sunday during the winter.

According to the council’s report on the plans, the three objectors have raised concern over traffic levels, overcrowding, noise, flooding, the design of the building, the location itself, and the possible impact on wildlife.

However, those who have lodged expressions of support say the centre will be an additional tourist attraction, will promote physical and mental wellbeing, and will encourage people to engage with water sports.

The report – which recommends that the application should be approved with conditions – says: “The open space which would be lost as a result of the proposal represents a very small proportion of land in the context of the wider open space and shore area, and under the proposals a significant portion of open space will be retained immediately adjacent to the site.

“In this context, the area of open space to be lost is relatively small in size.

“More importantly, it is considered that its loss will not undermine the integrity of or alter the established character of the wider area of adjacent public open space.

“It is considered that the proposal will not have an adverse impact on character or appearance of the area or on the amenity of the locality.

“The proposal will provide opportunities for water sport recreational activities which will be of local community benefit.”

To read more on the background to the application, click here.