The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 1 February 2008

Ayr United Football Club gets planning permission for new stadium

By: Murdoch MacDonald

AYR UNITED Football Club has been awarded planning permission to build its new stadium.

The facility, to be developed at Heathfield, will mean fans can enjoy a 7,650 capacity stadium on the northern part of the site.

The Ayr United Stadium, Sports and Business Campus will also include indoor training and parking facilities. While these will be built within the southern stand, the north and west stands will contain 8,775 square metres of rentable office accommodation.

The commercial office space is expected to provide the club with the finances to complete the construction and ensure the club’s long-term future.

The project will also include 106 residential units comprising 54 flats and a mix of 52 semi-detached and terraced houses. At the same time, South Ayrshire Council approved the redevelopment of the club’s Somerset Park ground to create 155 flats.

Councillor Nan McFarlane, Chair of South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel said: “I welcome the development of a new football stadium for Ayr United, offices and parking. Importantly the development includes the construction of two residential housing developments that will have 24.9% of socially affordable housing within it. A higher level of socially affordable housing would have been welcome, but this percentage will have a very positive impact on the demand for housing in the area. This is particularly important as South Ayrshire is a pressurised area for housing and this will help to provide additional homes for people.

“The development will bring a welcome boost to the South Ayrshire economy, creating jobs within the building industry when construction is going on. Afterwards the local economy will continue to thrive with more people living and working in the area in and around the new development.”

The development has taken a long while to come to fruition with the applicant and Officers from the Council’s Planning section working together to ensure that the stadium and housing are fit for purpose and suitable for their location.

Ayr United Football & Athletic Club Limited Lachlan Cameron, managing director said, “This morning the Club and our supporters took a major step forward to realising modern purpose built 21st century facilities at our new home at Heathfield.

“It became apparent to everyone at the meeting this morning the amount of detailed work and submissions that have been undertaken by our Development Consultants and Project Managers, Rockwood as well as various consultants engaged by Barratt West of Scotland. Indeed it was extremely pleasing that the Councillors at this mornings meeting commended the hard work of the Planning Officers as well as that of the Applicants and in particular made reference to the careful design of the affordable housing to ensure that it is fully integrated into the proposed housing developments.

“The approval of these applications bring us to the start of our new beginning. The club can progress from here and be a competitive force. We look forward to agreeing the relevant planning agreements with the Council in early course. Until these are resolved we are unable to confirm a timetable for the stadium but continue to strive to open Phase 1 in time for the 2009/10 centenary season.”

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