Plans for 75 new houses in Drongan have been approved - despite concerns over road safety in the area.

Applicant Hayhill Developments had asked permission to build 75 new homes on a site at Water of Coyle, off Truesdale Crescent on the south-western edge of the village.

The application, which had been recommended for approval by East Ayrshire Council (EAC) officials, was given the green light by members of the local authority's planning committee - by a 9-2 margin.

Permission for a development of 52 homes on the site had been granted to Hope Homes (Scotland) in February 2021.

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Concerns had been raised by some locals around road safety and privacy concerns for the new development.

The proposals attracted three representations from members of the public, all of them objecting to the development.

Doon Valley councillor Elaine Stewart moved a motion for refusal of the application, on the grounds of road safety concerns around the area.

But the Ayrshire Roads Alliance had submitted no objections to the plans.

And before the committee voted on the application, the council's chief governance officer, David Mitchell, urged members not to ignore the officials' recommendation - citing a recent case in which an applicant successfully appealed to the Scottish Government against EAC's refusal of its 

Mr Mitchell said: "It's not about sticking to the recommendation. We appreciate there is a statutory process here.

"The recommendation does offer best officer advice.

"All I would say is we are in a position where this application is for determination. However, where a decision is being put forward that is contrary to the overall recommendation, and the road service advice, I would urge members to be absolutely clear on their reasoning, and their thinking for what they're putting forward.

"I would simply highlight that we've had a recent incidence where the committee refused an application [which had been recommended for approval], on the basis of the wider local members' raising of road safety issues."

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Mr Mitchell added: "That applicant appealed that decision and the reporter did not uphold the refusal.

"The applicant may go ahead and build, the applicant may appeal if that's the outcome today - and that would be at a cost to the council in terms of the expenses of that process, potentially. 

"The bottom line is, there is a fine line.

"It's absolutely for this committee to determine this application, but, as I say, the recommendations are there for a reason and I would ask members to give them due weight before they take any decision, given the recent experience and I would urge us not to repeat that one."

Mr Mitchell did not mention the specific case to which he was referring when he cited the appeal against refusal, though last month the Chronicle reported on the successful appeal by developers Helix Homes against the council's decision to turn down permission for a new woodland nursery in Mauchline.