AN APPLICATION for a new opencast near Dalmellington has been withdrawn by Scottish Coal - despite being due to be approved tomorrow (Friday, March 15).

The company had been hoping to get approval for a new site named Benbain Remainder just 2.5km from the village.

But the proposal has been pulled at the last minute - despite East Ayrshire planning bosses recommending that councillors give it the green light.

Wildlife groups including the RSPB, the Wildlife Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage had all raised concerns about the application.

This is the second time that the plan has been dropped - it had originally been due to be considered on Friday, March 1 but it was withdrawn for further consulation by the applicant.