People are vacating a town centre community space due to Portal users filling up its car park.

Community councillors were told groups, including the Ayrshire Parkinson’s group who previously used the Volunteer Rooms, are having to go elsewhere due to the parking congestion.

North Ayrshire Council acknowledged the parking issues in the town centre and appeal to Portal users to park in the designated places.

And one Irvine councillor said the ‘ghastly’ idea of reintroducing parking wardens – currently being looked at by council officers – was probably the only answer.

Community councillors discussed the ongoing issue in their May meeting in the centre, with Bill Anderson saying: “How many people had difficulty parking here tonight, the cars don’t belong to the folk in here, they’re at the Portal.”

Irvine West Conservative Councillor Scott Gallacher said: “It’s not something I’m in favour of, but let’s be honest, you can’t get parked anywhere in the town. It’s a ghastly idea but the reality is [parking wardens] is probably the only answer.

“The Ayrshire Parkinson’s group met here [Volunteer Rooms] until two months ago and now meet at the Riverside Lodge. It’s Ayrshire-wide and if you’re driving into a strange town you want to park at the building.”

An NAC spokesperson said: “We are aware that there is a parking issue affecting the Volunteer Rooms, and we are currently looking at ways to manage parking in Irvine. Many of the groups using the Volunteer Rooms have members with mobility issues for whom parking elsewhere is not an option.

“We would therefore ask that Portal users please use the car park to the rear of the leisure centre or the Caledonian car park behind East Road Retail Park whenever possible.”