Councillors have agreed to a smaller second sports pitch at Maybole Campus after it was revealed the original plan would be £1.4m over budget.

However, the new pitch will still cost around £3.15m -almost £750k more than the initial allocation of £2.4m.

The council agreed to fund the additional cost through slippages in existing capital projects rather than borrow more money.

The cabinet was presented with four options and took the view that, while they did not want to scrap the second pitch altogether, either creating a smaller football only pitch or a reduced rugby and football pitch would be acceptable.

In the end they voted in favour of the football only pitch.

Councillor Stephen Ferry said ‘there was no getting away with the fact it is a very expensive football pitch’ and asked council officer Derek Yuille what planning conditions were related to the sports provision.

Mr Yuille responded that the planning consent was simply for the provision of two sports pitches.

However, he admitted that sportscotland guidelines for facilities in school campuses were ‘quite stringent’.

He said that the national sports body would not approve a new campus having less provision than the school it replaces.

In this case Carrick Academy had one all weather pitch and one grass pitch.

He added: “If we try to deliver anything less then it would not be supported by sportscotland.”

However, he said that not complying with the conditions would face reputational damage rather than tangible penalties.

He said: “The council looks to the public to uphold planning conditions, so the council should look to be doing the same.”

Finance chief Tim Baulk told councillors that they should avoid borrowing given the current financial climate and should look to slippage in other capital projects.

Councillor Brian Connolly, who is both sports and leisure spokesperson and councillor for Maybole, said that the model for two pitches was justified, but that it didn’t need to be the same size as the original plan.

He added that the campus could be the largest in South Ayrshire and would require the facilities.

Council Leader Martin Dowey said: “The school estate is in a really good place. The last administration and the one after that spent heavily on the school estate, and credit to them.

“We have to build on that.”

The new £59m facility will accommodate 1,370 pupils, from early years through to secondary school.

It replaces the former Carrick Academy and will also be home to three primary schools, including the merging Cairn and Gardenrose Primaries, St. Cuthbert’s and a local nursery.