Scotland's first secure mental health unit for youngsters is now set to be built in Irvine after plans were given the go-ahead.

Adolescents from across Scotland who suffer complex and dangerous psychiatric disorders will be treated at a 12-bed forensic unit next to Woodland View.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s plans were approved by planning chiefs this month with the facility to be constructed over the next few years.

It will offer rehabilitation to young patients with complex psychiatric illnesses, autism spectrum disorder or learning disabilities who are deemed too high-risk to be treated within the community. 

This includes patients with a history of physical violence, sexually harmful behaviour, fire-setting and self-harm.

The National Secure Forensic Inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) would accommodate patients both male and female, up to the age of 19, and be located next to the new Woodland View adult acut e mental he alth facility. Annual running costs are estimated to be £3.89 million.

Scotland has no secure inpatient unit for children and teenagers who present high forensic risk, with youngs ters cur rently having to receive treatment in England.

The Report of Handling states the plan will re-use an area of brownfield land in the hospital grounds.