Plans to build nearly 100 new homes in Auchinleck have hit a stumbling block, according to an East Ayrshire Council report.

Councillors approved plans by Ayr-based Fitzsimmons Construction for a 95-home development at Dalshalloch Wood, close to the Templeton roundabout on the western edge of the village, in October 2022.

At the time, it was said that the majority of trees in the wooded area would have to be felled.

The south-east section of the site, which is zoned for housing in East Ayrshire's local development plan, also features a grassed over dog racing track. A number of footpaths run through the site that link from Merlin Loch Park to Pennyland Road.

READ MORE: Council approve plans for 95 new homes in Auchinleck

Approved plans said that there would be a mix of two, three and four bedroom terrace, semi-detached and detached homes, with the main access from Pennyland Road and other non-vehicular access to the west, north and east of the site, including three from Merlin Loch Park.

However, a report published on the East Ayrshire Council (EAC) website has said that the development could be facing "viability issues surrounding developer contributions".

It added that the plans, which attracted six objections from members of the public, could have to be brought back to the authority's planning committee if the issues are not resolved.

Cumnock Chronicle: Plans for the Auchinleck homes.Plans for the Auchinleck homes. (Image: East Ayrshire Council)

EAC this week released a report looking at updates on planning applications given approval.

The report states: "[The application was] considered at planning committee late 2022 and requires legal agreement.

"More recently, [the] agent noted [the] applicant has viability issues that require addressing for developer contribution and payment in lieu of open space requirement.

"Viability issues/developer contribution [is currently] progressing with [the] agent."

The two options for the future of the development are to finalise a legal agreement over the 'developer contribution' or to return the application to the planning committee.

The report will go before EAC's planning committee on Friday, April 19.

When permission was granted more than a year and a half ago, council officials said the developers hoped to retain as many of the deciduous trees at the site as possible, and pointed out that trees would be retained around much of the perimeter.

Most of the trees on the site are coniferous sitka spruce, but the area is also home to larch, goat willow, silver birch, ash, beech, hawthorn, sallow and maple trees.

The plans also include public open space at the north and west sides of the site as well as a children's play area, with two bus stops indicated on Pennyland Road.

Talks were also held between the developer and Auchinleck Community Council around the future of the Marie Curie Field of Hope, which sits within the development site.

A report published prior to the application's approval in 2022 stated that a private arrangement had been made to plant at a nearby site owned by the Auchinleck Community Development Initiative. 

Under a standard condition of planning permission for any project, the developer is required to start work within three years of permission being granted.