Emergency drainage works to tackle flooding at Dundonald Recreation Ground have been likened to First World War trenches.

But despite the damning comparison, South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel agreed to give the controversial project retrospective planning approval.

In November, it was reported how residents of the village had objected to work to develop the site as a sports pitch after claiming it resulted in flooding of properties and impinged on their privacy.

Residents claimed that the amount of work which was carried out was substantially more than originally proposed.

Planning permission was only sought once much of the work had already been undertaken.

They said they were told by Dundonald Community Sports, Recreation and Heritage Association (DCSRH) there would be  ‘no significant rise in ground levels’.

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

They also said that they had never had an issue with flooding prior to the work beginning.

Ayrshire Roads Alliance were drafted in to tackle the flooding, laying out hundreds of sandbags and digging an emergency drainage channel.

Labour Councillor Ian Cavana had called for a site visit to the Recreation Ground. This took place on Tuesday.

At Wednesday’s panel meeting Cllr Cavana, said: “I’m glad I did because it was actually frightening. Trenches, sandbags it is like the First World War.

“The crux of the matter is the drainage. If that is not solved then the whole thing collapses, excuse the pun.”

However, he accepted that he would be happy if the survey, using CCTV,  showed the drainage to be suitable.

He added: “If CCTV confirmed it is going to okay, then fine. But if they do not get it  sorted, then this is a waste of time.”

The survey is one of the main conditions of planning permission and assess existing drains to determine their condition and ability to cope with the flow of water from the recreation ground.

Independent Girvan Councillor Alec Clark asked that ‘if the drainage is properly finished, could we be assured that drainage would mitigate’ the flooding problem.

SNP Troon Councillor Craig McKay said drainage was his concern as the works meant that the flow would be increased and sought assurance that the outflow would have the capacity to cope with that.

Both were told that this would be the case.

Cllr Clark asked if the project would be prevented from progressing if conditions set by the council in relation to drainage were not met.

Head of planning, Craig Iles confirmed that action would be taken in that instance.

However, the type of action was not specified, nor was the fact that the application was retrospective  with most of the work having already been carried out.

Councillor McKay asked what would happen should there be any issues with the drainage in future.

Mr Iles said that this would become a matter for the DCSRH and those affected.