Proposals for a new eco-friendly glamping site near Straiton in South Ayrshire have been given the green light.

Planning documents had been lodged with South Ayrshire Council for the development near the Buskin Burn. 

Applicant Laird Morgan Cooper, of Selkirk in the Borders, was looking for permission to create eight glamping pods and a bunk house, which would include a "charitable educational organisation" with the aim of teaching people how to live their lives in a more self-sustainable way.

In a supporting statement lodged with the formal application, Mr Cooper stated: "I propose to turn part of my land into an off-grid eco-friendly glamping site with educational benefits included.

"The aim is to have eight glamping pods and a bunk house for passing tourism as well as educational events.

"The project will be in keeping with the local area and will utilise local small business's and employ local people.

"We aim to run a charitable educational organisation along with the glamping site, this will educate people on becoming self sustainable."

Mr Cooper's supporting statement says he has owned the land, half a mile east of Straiton on the B741 Dalmellington road, since 2020, and says that in the past three years he has removed sheep from the land to allow other wildlife the chance to flourish.

Mr Cooper, who says in his supporting statement that he is a volunteer with the Carrick Resilience Scheme, also says he has introduced alpacas and chickens to the land and hopes to follow that with bees and ducks this year.

He also wants to offer classes and tours in reiki healing, shamanic drumming, forest and field foraging, alpaca trekking, and woodcraft and outdoor skills.

His statement adds: "In addition to the educational offerings, I aim to sell produce that is homegrown on the property via an honesty box at the main gate.

"This produce will include organic fruit and vegetables, homemade preserves, organic chicken eggs, felted alpaca products, wild foraged foods and hand-crafted goods.

"We aim to provide a highly rated off grid eco-friendly accommodation and education centre for all ages from near and far.

"We believe that our offering will be beneficial to the local community by including them in the venture and creating extra footfall in the area for other local businesses.

"We also believe that we will be beneficial to the local flora and fauna due to the nature of our business."

Mr Cooper says he has been approached by the 28th Ayrshire Scout Group with a view to them using the land for their annual camp.

The development will also include a reception and storage building and space for around ten cars.

The proposal has now been given the seal of approval by council planners, with conditions in place to make sure the structures would be removed if the site was to stop functioning. 

A report by the South Ayrshire Council official who dealt with the application stated: "The siting, scale, massing and design of the proposals are considered to be acceptable given the rural setting of the site, and limited visibility of the proposals due to the topography of the landscape.

"It is also noted that the proposed tents are temporary structures, as are the proposed wooden pods, shower block, studio, office/cabin and bunk house, with a limited lifespan and which can be removed from the site if they become obsolete, rather than being permanent buildings."