A Troon councillor has hit out at the time it will take to reopen a play park which was deemed a priority for the town.

The dilapidated equipment at Hosiery Park at Brown Avenue was in such a poor state that the council had it condemned and removed around a year ago.

But it's now emerged that the replacement equipment may not be completed until the end of 2024.

Ward councillors agreed that the replacement of the equipment was a priority for the town, with SNP councillor Craig Mackay saying that, with the ward money put in place for local projects, it looked to be a straightforward action to identify what was needed and purchasing it.

Last year, the Troon councillor had proposed a motion calling on the council to have more ‘shovel ready’ play projects to avoid just this type of delay.

However, since then progress has stalled, with the council blaming an amendment to add inclusive equipment for the delays.

While Cllr Mackay welcomed the inclusive equipment, he argued that this should have been the standard being built to from the outset.

He said that it had taken several meetings between councillors and officials to get movements, with councillors only hearing that the work was progressing in April.

Cllr Mackay said that, at that time there was a lead in time of eight weeks for the work, which was already much longer than he believed was required.

Cllr Mackay said: “Last June, a year ago, I had a motion unanimously passed by council requiring play areas to be upgraded in a much more planned and structured way, on more of a ‘shovel ready’ basis when funding became available.

“Hosiery Park should have been a quick win, with both the funding and political will in place. Serving a relatively deprived area, this is clearly a priority, and I find the continued delays both baffling and entirely frustrating.

“The latest reasons are on the grounds of adding more inclusive equipment.

“In my mind there was never any question of installing equipment that isn’t inclusive, and indeed my motion to council had a simple expectation that improvements to play areas would have accessibility as a baseline going forward.

“Local children deserve better than this, and I will continue to push for the new equipment to be installed as quickly as possible.”

The updated plans will also be more expensive, although the council has successfully secured external funding.

However, it means the playpark will be sitting dormant for months to come due to the need to go through formal procurement processes as well as longer lead in times from suppliers.

A South Ayrshire Council official told Cllr Mackay: “The specification has been amended to include inclusive play equipment, with wheelchair access and also to redesign the original plans to make better use of the playpark areas, which has led to a delay.

“The amendments also required further investment, which we have been able to secure through DDA funding.

“The original plans are being re-designed to incorporate the amendments to equipment and use of the area, at this moment in time, the completion of the playparks is unknown, as we require to follow procurement rules and put the project out framework suppliers.

“The procurement process could take several weeks and then there will be supply/install lead-in times, which is unknown at this time.

"I would hope that the works will be complete by the end of the year.

“I understand the above will be disappointing news to you and the community, and I apologise that this project has not been delivered within expected timescales.

“Hopefully the amendments will provide better facilities for the community.”