The Coal Authority has raised concerns over potential plans for new homes in Lugar.

We reported in May how applicant Rome Developments Ltd, of Nantwich, Cheshire, was seeking permission from East Ayrshire Council for 15 new homes on vacant land at the former Lugar Ironworks site, off Peesweep Brae.

Documents submitted with the application describe a mixture of one-and two-storey houses on the site.

Shortly after the initial plans were submitted, Ayrshire Roads Alliance bosses objected to the plans.

Cumnock Chronicle: Plans for the homes.Plans for the homes. (Image: East Ayrshire Council/Rome Developments Ltd)

Now, the Coal Authority has raised potential issues with the plans, claiming that "the site lies in an area where historic unrecorded coal mining is likely to have taken place at shallow depth."

They added: "Voids and broken ground associated with such workings can pose a risk of ground instability and may give rise to the emission of mine gases.

"Our records indicate that the shaft was filled and capped with a reinforced concrete cap at rockhead in 1981. Mine entries and their resultant zones of Protecting the public and the environment in mining areas 2 influence pose a significant risk not only to surface stability but also public safety.

"We take this opportunity to highlight that any form of development over or within the influencing distance of a mine entry can be dangerous and raises significant safety and engineering risks and exposes all parties to potential financial liabilities.

"The Coal Authority has adopted a policy where, as a general precautionary principle, the building over or within the influencing distance of a mine entry should wherever possible be avoided."

A separate application by the same developer for eight houses on the south-eastern corner of the former ironworks site, nearest Peesweep Brae itself, was approved by council officials last January.

A decision on the plans was initially expected last year. However, no definitive answer has been given for the plans.