RESIDENTS in Muirkirk were left aghast after East Ayrshire Council ripped up the AstroTurf pitch at the games hall.

Without warning, workers arrived on Wednesday, October 24 and pulled up the artificial grass, leaving the village without the well-used facility.

A lack of consultation from the council – who said the pitch was worn and potentially dangerous – has angered residents.

Seumas Eoin took to social media to lodge his complaints. He captured the mood in Muirkirk when he posted on Twitter: “I went down for kick about with my son and discovered East Ayrshire ripped up the AstroTurf park, the last remaining sports facility in Muirkirk.

“It’s well used by adults and kids and in good condition. Zero public consultation. Locals treated with contempt in one of EAs poorest villages.”

Mary Keegans Shaw added on Facebook: “My grandson has just come in and told me they were lifting the AstroTurf at the games hall and they were going to tarmac it.

“There is now nowhere for any of the youngsters to play football anymore. Just what is left in Muirkirk?”

Bob McCulloch, Acting Head of Housing and Communities, said: “East Ayrshire Council appreciates the disappointment of the community regarding the removal of the AstroTurf in Muirkirk.

“The work was undertaken due to safety issues and the wear and tear of the pitch. The council acknowledges that the community should have been informed of what was taking place and the reasons for this. We apologise that this did not happen.

“Council officers will be meeting with the community council and others shortly to explore the replacement options and we are committed to working with the community to find the best solution to enable local needs to be met.”