Councillors have agreed to plans to turn shop storage space in Ayr High Street into flats, despite neighbours’ objections around bins and ‘torture’ from noisy air source heat pumps.

The proposals will see the first and second floors of the historic C-listed building above the former Clinton Cards store turned into six flats.

But residents of historic Kirk Port gave impassioned pleas to South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel to halt the move.

Resident Donna Vallance told councillors that she appreciated the principle behind bringing High Street properties back into use to ‘fix a problem and reoccupy space’.

Get unlimited access to the Ayr Advertiser's online content:

However, she said that there had been no consultation with residents of Kirk Port.

Ms Vallance raised a number of issues, including the installation of six air source heat pumps and the associated noise pollution, the impact of the large ‘eurobins’ to serve the flats and the safety issues around road access.

She said that the bin store would be ‘unworkable’ with the use of large eurobins meaning that either Kirk Port residents would be impacted, or they would end up on one of the town’s main tourist trails.

She pointed out that the council had been working on accessibility in the town centre, but warned that the proposal would end up with a ‘proliferation of bins on the High Street’.

Fellow resident Mark Main said that the noise from the six air source heat pumps would be ‘horrendous’.

Mr Main said that he had double glazing but was still affected by the noise from other heat pumps in the vicinity despite closing vents and wooden shutters.

He said: “At night it is nothing but torture. The introduction of six heat pumps even closer would be horrendous in that built up area.”

He also pointed out the safety issues around the access to the bin store.

“The doors open outwards so anyone walking out onto the area runs the risk of hitting a car of striking a pedestrian. They wouldn’t see anything coming. ”

While acknowledging the objections, councillors took the view that conditions around acoustic surveys and the road access would be enough to address the concerns.

Independent councillor Alex Clark, who is also the council’s tourism spokesman, said: “I am very supportive of town centre regeneration and would rather see it in good condition instead of dilapidation.

“I understand residents’ concerns over air source heat pumps.”

Planning officer David Clark told the panel that an acoustic consultant report would be required before any work taking place.

Cllr Clark said he hoped this would provide assurance to objectors.

Labour councillor Ian Cavana agreed that there were issues around heat pumps, adding that they needed to ensure ‘this is done professionally because it is a confined area.”

Councillor Kenny Bell, chair of the panel, pointed to the claims that the bins could end up being left out on the High Street.

Read More: Ayr: Boy, 11, 'tasered by police' at Craig Tara Holiday Park

“I wouldn’t like to see those bins located on the High Street and stay there for days,” he added.

Other councillors also asked for assurances around the issue, asking whether the management of bins could be included as a planning condition.

Craig Iles, head of planning, said the planning service was ‘not there to be regulator of whether bins are being taken in’.

However, he agreed that the waste management could be looked at as a condition, although the specifics would be delegated to planning officers.

The application was approved by the Regulatory Panel.