COUNCIL chiefs look set to scrap planned tennis courts at the new Quarry Road sports development after running out of money.

Planning chiefs say unless the Tennis Courts at Thornhouse Avenue are sold to housing developers and can secure additional funding from Tennis Scotland they won’t go ahead at all, remaining “within the masterplan”.

North Ayrshire Council’s full cabinet will meet today (Tuesday, May 1) and are expected to agree to scrap the tennis courts as well as making changes to other planned facilities for the sports centre - because the budget won’t stretch.

In August last year plans were approved by NAC’s Cabinet for a full size outdoor 3G pitch, a mid size, 67m x 59m indoor 3G pitch to allow all weather training and coaching for football, rugby, five-a-side football provision and events.

There was also included a 1km cycle loop supporting a ‘BMX pump’ track for the development of cycling skills and outdoor tennis courts.

However the Times can reveal that despite planning chiefs managing to claw an extra £600,000 from the Scottish Government Vacant and Derelict Land Fund allocation last month, taking the total funds from £4.8million to £5.4million, there is still not enough money to fulfil certain aspects of the previously approved plans.

As well as the tennis courts being axed, the indoor 3G pitch will now be 10metres smaller than previously agreed.

There will also be little use for rugby training, despite previous promises, due to the shock absorbers on the pitch being scrapped.

If the changes are approved the proposed BMX track will be axed and the ‘1km closed cycle track’ will be reduced to 750m but with internal loop of 250m to allow a 1km lap to be taken.

A spokesman for North Ayrshire Council said: “Due to costs and funding availability, the proposed three outdoor hard surface tennis courts will remain within the masterplan, however their delivery would depend on the sale of the existing courts at Thornhouse Avenue and a funding contribution from Tennis Scotland.

“Whilst the plans are to shorten the cycle track, the inclusion of an internal loop will still allow a 1km cycle.

“The final route is not yet confirmed and will be developed in consultation with local clubs.

“Some rugby training will be available on the site.

“The final decision on shock pads will depend on overall project costs – when we go to market and get quotes in from contractors and if budget allowed, we would review shock pads.

“Following a review of the project costs, it was concluded that the BMX track would not be included in phase two of the development.

“The overall project would represent excellent sporting outcomes, offering young people the opportunity into sport, and we hope that SportScotland will provide a funding contribution to reflect both this and the scale of the Council’s investment in sport.”.

The first phase – due for completion in May – includes 10,000 sq ft of offices to accommodate KA Leisure, the Council’s Business Development team and flexible and collaborative working space for small businesses.