Youngsters in Irvine are to lose their youth centre as council bosses plan to demolish it to make way for new housing.

The Redburn Youth Centre in Dickson Drive will be flattened to make way for houses as part of North Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) to build 1,000 new homes over the next five years.

The land which the centre sits on is owned by Irvine’s Common Good Fund - meaning NAC will need to hand over £66,000 for acquiring it.

However the plans approved at this week’s cabinet meeting, reveal that council chiefs are planning to deduct the cost of demolishing the centre from the Common Good Fund’s £66,000 - meaning the community will lose their centre and part of the cash the Common Good stands to make from it.

The Times can also reveal that the land currently earns the Common Good Fund £4,000 per year in rent. However if the council approve their plans, that rental income will reduce to £1,840.

The documents state: “The ground at Dickson Drive is currently held within the Common Good. A District Valuation was instructed for the site, which has confirmed a site value of £66,000." 

The total income to the Common Good from the Housing Revenue Account will therefore be £66,000, subject to deduction of abnormal costs anticipated as part of the development.

These costs will include demolition costs and will be finalised from the site investigations which are underway and which are due for completion towards the end of 2017.

“There is currently an annual rental income of £4,000 to the Common Good Fund from the General Fund for this site. If the proposed area of land is sold for development, this would reduce to £1,840 on a pro rata basis.”

Council chiefs say they are planning to improve the Redburn Community Centre to make way for both services running within the same building.

The report reads: “The development will involve demolition of the Redburn Youth Centre, which currently occupies part of the Common Good site. Improvement works will be undertaken to the Redburn Community Centre, to facilitate the consolidation of the Youth Centre activities into the Community Centre.”

The Times spoke to a user of the centre who asked not to be named. He said: “People have been consulted about this and there hasn’t been much disagreement, but it has to be said there was only a few people actually turned up to the consultation meetings.

“I don’t think people realise that the money to demolish their centre is coming out of the Common Good Fund. It’s almost like the community is paying twice for this new housing.

“They say the youth centre facilities will just move over to the Redburn Community Centre but that remains to be seen. They won’t be able to fit everything that currently happens in two buildings into one, even with improvements and I would imagine jobs will be lost too if there is only one centre to run.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said locals had been consulted and “no issues were raised”.

He said: “The proposed housing development at Dickson Drive forms part of our ambitious commitment to delivering 1,000 new council houses over the next five years.

“We want to invest in our residents, and in their future, by reversing the decline in the availability of social housing and giving them access to high-quality, modern and most importantly, affordable housing.

“As well as providing general needs housing, our new Council properties will ensure that tenants with a range of needs, including older people and families with complex requirements, are also catered for.

“The proposed development at Dickson Drive will see the creation of 24 new properties general needs, amenity bungalows and wheelchair-accessible properties.

“We expect construction work will get underway next summer with a scheduled completion date of summer 2019.

“The construction works will require the demolition of the Redburn Youth Centre which occupies part of the site. However, we intend to carry out improvements to the nearby Redburn Community Centre, which will allow it to accommod ate the activities cur ren tly under take n at the Youth Centre, ensuring that local residents are not inconvenienced.

“As the youth centre land is owned by the Common Good, this means the land will transfer and the Common Good Fund will benefit from receiving a sum of approximately £66,000 minus costs, agreed following a District Valuation. We engaged with local residents about the use of the Common Good land during a four-week consultation earlier this summer. The feedback was generally positive and no issues were raised.”


The ownership of Common Good Funds has undergone a series of changes as a result of local government reforms in Scotland since the Second World War.

The origins of these Common Good Funds go back to the establishment of Scotland’s Royal Burghs in the 11th Century.

Royal charters granted these burghs special rights and privileges, as well as tracts of land which typically extended for some distance around the town.

In the 15th Century in response to maladministration, the Scottish Parliament passed the Common Good Act 1491.

This Act stipulated that the common good of the Royal Burghs “be observed and kept for the common good of the town”.