Fed-up residents who say that the development of their village's recreation ground had led to flooding of their properties have been handed an unexpected boost.

The Dundonald Community Sports, Recreation and Heritage Association (DCSRHA) had denied its work had caused flooding - and gave assurances that the problem would end when the drainage was connected.

But just a couple of weeks on, it has been announced that South Ayrshire Council is to take over responsibility for the site.

In a statement from the council’s depute chief executive Mike Newall, read out at Dundonald Community Council (DCC) last Thursday night, it was stated that the land was being returned to the council "by mutual agreement".

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Margaret Sloan, secretary of the community council,  said: “He confirmed by mutual agreement the council will take back the responsibility for the maintenance and management of the green open space around the castle, including drainage.”

Mr Newall, in his letter to DCC, said the council would write to the association, who are the leaseholders of the land, to terminate the lease at the ‘earliest available opportunity’.

Mr Newall stated that he had visited the site last month and had been told that the drainage had not been connected.

However, he said that residents had questioned this assertion, and provided photographs that indicated the drainage was in fact complete.

Resident Bill Fleming said: “I would like to congratulate Mike Newall for taking up the baton on this.

“It is over two years since this whole situation got started. I would also congratulate Julie Dettbarn [SNP councillor for the Kyle ward] for getting involved from day one.

"I think the fact that she was up to her knees in her wellies proved she was up for the fight.”

Community councillor Scott Allan said that there were still a lot of questions to be answered about the future of the recreation ground.

Former South Ayrshire Conservative councillor Arthur Spurling, a DSCRHA member, told the meeting that the problem the association had was not related to the field itself.

He said that changes to legislation meant that the group was, for the first time, liable to pay rates.

Mr Spurling added: “We cannot afford to utilise the field any further, because there are £3,500 in rates put on the field, in addition to the £4,500 we were to pay for maintenance.

"That is one fo the main reasons we asked for the council to take it back.”

The amendment to the Local Government (Financial Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1963 states that recreation grounds, like Dundonald, which had historically been left out of the valuation roll for rates purposes, are now to be included.

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However,  the Scottish Government states that charitable organisations can apply for an 80 per cent discount, while the council can make an additional discretionary 20 per cent discount.

This is backed by the mygov.scot website, which confirms the rateable value of the Dundonald site is £3,700, with the liablity of £1,842 before any relief is added.

It states that amount liable following a 100 per cent discount would be zero.

A South Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Once the ground is in council ownership we intend to resolve any outstanding drainage issues.

"We will also address the rates situation when the ground has become our responsibility.”