CONTROVERSIAL plans for a major extension of a holiday park near Ayr are still hanging in the balance after a vote among councillors.

The park's owners, Haven, lodged plans with South Ayrshire Council (SAC) last year to redevelop a nine-hole golf course on the site, and add an additional 137 caravans in its place.

The proposals sparked a furious response from the public, whose concerns included road safety, anti-social behaviour and the impact on the Heads of Ayr Farm Park next door.

A total of 223 objections were received from owners and visitors of Craig Tara, residential properties in South Ayrshire, neighbouring residential and commercial properties, Alloway, Doonfoot and St Leonard Community Council, and the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society. 

The application was considered by SAC's regulatory panel for planning on Wednesday, February 28.

After hearing from both the developer and some of the objectors – including representatives of two community councils and of the farm park – councillors voted to carry out a site visit before reconvening for a final decision.

Cllr Ian Cavana (Labour, Ayr North) proposed a site visit, seconded by Cllr Martin Kilbride (Conservative, Prestwick).

Cllr Alec Clark (Independent, Girvan and South Carrick) proposed that the application should be approved, in line with SAC officials’ recommendations, seconded by his ward colleague Cllr Alan Lamont (Conservative).

On a vote, five councillors backed a site visit and only two supported approving the plans, with one abstention.