Plans have been unveiled for a new nursery to be built in Mauchline.

The application, submitted on behalf of Helix Homes Ltd, would see the new complex built in the woodland area north of the Loudoun Street car park.

This proposal provides an upgrade to existing facilities in the expanding village.

Stairhill Architecture, who are taking the plans forward, say the plans will help to spark new life into the existing neglected woodland for the benefit of the wider community.

The application states: "Nursery provision will be for children of three years and over, based on a blended model (2 /3) offering a full year service.

"The nursery will operate from 8am – 6pm Monday through Friday with capacity for a school roll of 64 children."

It is proposed to have further additional capacity in the form of a dedicated outdoor forest school for up to 6 children based solely outdoors. This service can be offered alongside the classroom-based provision allowing sessions to be split between the classroom and forest nursery.

Mauchline currently has two early childhood centres, Mauchline Primary School and Early Childhood Centre and the Burns Bairns Under 5s Group.

According to the plans, the new facility will be offered to the Burns Bairns group, giving them the opportunity to move to a new site away from its current home in the Centre Stane building, close to the junction of High Street and Earl Grey Street.

Recently woodland that forms part of the proposed site has been subject to anti-social behaviour and more serious crimes of attempted sexual assault together with a suicide. These events have led to concerns being raised from residents of neighbouring properties and the wider community.

Helix Homes Ltd say in documents submitted in support of their application: "A meeting was organised by Councillor William Lennox on 29th September on site, which was attended by, Councillor William Lennox and Police Scotland along with other council service members.

"A further public meeting was held on Tuesday 4th October within the Centre Stane to relay the findings of the first meeting to the general public.

"The current situation was discussed, and advice given on actions to take to help prevent, and also how to report such behaviours."

A pre-planning application was submitted and validated last year, saying that such an idea should be supported.

The plans do not include any additional parking spaces at the Loudoun Street car park, which it is proposed will be used as a pick-up and drop-off point.

Concerned residents believed that more parking facilities should be added to any plans for the nursery.

However, a Stairhill Architecture spokesperson said that "a car park study which has demonstrated sufficient capacity within the existing carpark for any additional traffic of the proposed nursery".

The full plans can be viewed on the East Ayrshire Council planning portal, by searching for 22/0690/PP.