Any hopes of new licensed premises in Irvine or Kilwinning remain slim after NAC reaffirmed its ‘overprovision policy’ in a bid to reduce alcoholrelated harm.

The Licensing Board has operated the policy since 2010. It has now been renewed following approval last week of the board’s new Licensing Policy Statement for 2018-2022.

Councillor Ronnie McNicol, Licensing Board convenor, said: “We have operated the overprovision policy since 2010 and renewed it in 2013. We consider there is overprovision across all localities of North Ayrshire.

“The statistics show that there has been a slight improvement in health and other indicators since our previous assessment. This is a welcome change, and we believe that our policy contributed to it. It’s vital we maintain this policy.

“It’s worth noting that this overprovision is stronger in localities with poorer health statistics, namely Irvine, Kilwinning, the Three Towns and Garnock Valley.”

Latest figures show that in 2016 in North Ayrshire, 1186 people were admitted to hospital due to alcohol while 97 young people, aged 11-25, received hospital treatment over drink.