A ‘MARITIME MILE’ at Irvine Harbourside and earmarking land for over 1,000 new homes form a major part of proposals for a new council development plan.

North Ayrshire Council has revealed its draft Local Development Plan - used to determine its approach to planning, the local economy and overall strategy for the next ten years.

It will now ask the public for their views on the document.

Three of the eight key areas identified in the draft LDP are in Irvine - namely Irvine Harbourside, Montgomerie Park and the town’s i3 business site.

The i3 plans include a bio-refinery, medicine manufacture innovation centre and other advanced manufacturing space, targeted at the likes of chemical and life sciences.

Much of the plan for the harbourside mirrors those put in place by the defunct Irvine Bay regeneration, includes housing directly opposite the Big Idea, or builds on the council’s work.

The report states: “We want the LDP to support the development of a ‘Maritime Mile’ at Irvine Harbourside by making best use of the Harbourside’s unique location, heritage and environment to create new opportunities for local people and attract new investment into the area.

A range of uses will be supported at Irvine Harbourside.

“In particular, we will support the following uses, particularly where forming part of a comprehensive masterplan:

• New residential development, comprising both affordable and market housing

• A range of commercial leisure facilities, particularly those that enhance or develop the maritime tourism potential of the area

• Proposals that strengthen physical and digital links between the town centre and harbourside to enhance the vitality and vibrancy of town centre and harbourside.

• Proposals that are in keeping with the character of the area as an edge of town centre location.

• Proposals that result in the productive reuse of vacant land identified as development opportunities Montgomerie Park, which has been under developmentfor a decade and a half, is another key element.

The council’s draft plan says: “We are committed to supporting the development of housing at Montgomerie Park.

“A Simplified Planning Zone will cover part of the area shown as ‘Strategic Housing Growth Area’ and will work to simplify the process of delivering new homes at this location. We will support a mix of tenures and delivery mechanisms at this site, including self-build development.

“Our capital investment strategy supports growth at this location by investing in infrastructure to unlock development at the site and a new primary school to serve the catchment.

“We will also support other community amenities, such as shops, for local resident The plan also seeks to add land for the development of more than a thousand new homes across North Ayrshire.

It states council support for ‘a recovery in housebuilding in North Ayrshire by allocating new land for development, which could be delivered in the short term.

Of the new homes, 85 would be in Irvine and 173 in Kilwinning.

The remainder includes Largs (95 homes), West Kilbride (2 sites of 170 and 75 homes, respectively), Saltcoats/Stevenston (300 homes), Kilbirnie (100 homes) and Burnhouse (55 homes).

The development plan also looks at a broader range of aims, including promotion of town centres, integration of marine and coastal planning and ‘refreshing’ its wind energy approach.

What is the Local Development Plan?

THE Local Development plan sets out strategic land use priorities, guiding development to the right location, to ensure the most appropriate, sustainable use of resources and to deliver quality places.

The LDP provides land for new houses, commercial, and leisure purposes, and protects the natural and built environment.

Planning legislation requires the Council to produce a new LDP every five years, and estimates that it takes approximately 3 years to produce and adopt an LDP.

The current Upon approval of the Proposed LDP, an 8 week consultation will be undertaken to allow comments to be submitted in response to proposals and policies in the Proposed LDP.

Any objections to the LDP content will form the basis for an examination of the LDP by Scottish Ministers.

If there are ‘overwhelming reasons’ to modify the content of the proposed LDP, council officers will report to the Local Development Plan Committee on whether modifications to the proposed LDP are recommended.