Councillors will travel to Dundonald to see the impact of a football pitch development that neighbours have described as a ‘nightmare’.

Residents of the village queued up to voice their objections to the work undertaken at Dundonald Recreation Ground without planning permission.

They told councillors on South Ayrshire’s regulatory panel that the work carried out by the Dundonald Community, Sports, Recreation and Heritage Association (DCSRH) had led to flooding of their properties and impinged on their privacy.

The group said it had spent more than £120,000 on the work, which included more than £30,000 funding from the council.

Residents claimed that the amount of work which was carried out was substantially more than they had originally been told, including ‘no significant rise in ground levels’.

Instead, they said, the level was raised by up to 1.4 metres, and meant that people could easily see into their properties from the park.

DCSRH said it had been told that no planning permission was required and added that they had already carried out much of the work when they were informed that they would have to make an application.

Objectors told the panel that they had never had any issue with flooding prior to the work beginning.

One objector said that the situation had been a "nightmare".

He added that he was concerned about the security of his property, due to the raising of ground levels, and that the flooding had left part of his house ‘off limits’ due to rising damp.

Residents also thanked Councillor Julie Dettbarn, who they said had intervened and got Ayrshire Roads Alliance involved.

ARA eventually had to put down several hundred sandbags and then dig a ditch to prevent the water from inundating adjacent properties.

The objector said this had been a ‘godsend’.

Dundonald Community Council and Dundonald Highland Games also raised strong objections, with the Highland Games saying that the work had reduced the amount of space that could be used for the event by forty percent, with a knock on effect on the money it could bring in through stalls and food outlets.

ARA had initially recommended refusal due to the lack of detail on the drainage proposals, but withdrew their objection on receipt of a more detailed report from the applicant.

But ARA flip-flopped once again after residents them sent a civil engineering report, reinstating the objection and saying the applicant should provide evidence that the pipe being used to drain the site is suitable.

At the same time, planners said they believed the drainage would be sufficient once the drainage system is connected to the outflow.

DCSRH, represented by Kenneth Sinclair and former South Ayrshire Conservative councillor Arthur Spurling, claimed they had been told that they were not required to have planning permission.

Work on the site began in June 2021, but a planning application was not submitted until February of this year.

The work involved the relocation of around 200 tons of soil to create a level football pitch on the site.

However, the final work to connect the site to the drainage is yet to be completed.

Planners had recommended that the panel give the retrospective planning approval, saying that the issues could be mitigated through planning conditions.

South Ayrshire Council's head of planning, Craig Iles, indicated that the difference between the plan indicated by the applicant before work began was not relevant, as the panel had to consider the plans which were put before them.

He also suggested that the claim that there would be a 40 per cent reduction in useable land for the Dundonald Highland Games was higher than he had estimated.

Councillors agreed to postpone their decision until a future meeting of the panel and to carry out a site visit.