A MAJOR housing development in Auchinleck has been approved by planners.

The construction of 56 new homes will transform a site described as an eyesore by one councillor.

East Ayrshire’s planning committee unanimously gave the application the green light at council HQ last Friday.

Cunninghame Housing will be building a blend of two and three bedroom family houses.

This will regenerate waste land between the current and former railway lines, between Boswell Drive and Back Rogerton Drive, with access from Coal Road.

There will be 112 residents’ and 14 visitors’ parking spaces as well as landscaping, a play area, public open space and a specialised sustainable urban drainage system.

Properties will be a combination of single and two storey houses contained in terraced and semi-detached blocks.

Most will be classified as general needs along with one wheelchair accessible house and five amenity homes.

One objection was lodged which said the site was ‘wedged between existing house styles which should be mirrored’ and a ‘simpler, more traditional appearance, with some modern features’ would be more acceptable.

Despite this, councillors on the committee were advised by head of planning, Michael Keane, to rubber-stamp the application.

There was nothing to justify refusal of what is a quality development and, under the terms of the Town and Country Planning Act, he recommended its approval.

Councillor Neil McGhee, who lives near the site, said: “It has been an eyesore for many years, having been used for horse grazing in the past.

“But the collapse in the housing market killed any chance of it being developed.

“I am impressed with the proposed development and delighted to see something cheerier after years of coal dust in Auchinleck.”