Controversial store plans have been turned down after residents responded to proposals in overwhelming numbers.
Ambitious plans for Kilmarnock’s Hill Street could have seen the existing Key Store flanked by new retail units.
Residents have highlighted concerns about traffic problems and the loss of green space if the plans are approved.
Four parking spaces on the Rosebank Place side of the site have also been proposed, along with a three-space loading dock on Hill Street.
More than 30 objections have been filed against the plans.
But the proposals were rejected by East Ayrshire Council’s planning committee.
Councilors at the April 22 meeting accepted the planning department’s recommendation to decline the offer.
It was concluded that the plans could not be granted as they were outside the city center limits and the claimant provided no justification for the units not being in the city center.
It was also concluded that the section of open space that would be lost would have a “significant impact on the character and amenity of the residential estate”.
Representations at the meeting came from two residents who objected to the plans and from the agent who filed the application on behalf of his client.
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A resident, Mrs Carolyn Hanvey, told the meeting that her children played in the enclosed open space at the mouth of Stafford Street and that it had been used and maintained by residents for 30 years.
Ms Hanvey, who said the project was a ‘sensitive point’, added: ‘Not everything in this proposal is required. It’s going to be detrimental to anyone in this field raising young children.’
Neil Rodgers, acting as agent for plaintiff, Mohammed Ramzan, said: “I hear what the naysayers are saying. Part of the open space belongs to my client. The neighbors using it as space, they will technically on my client’s land.”
He added: “The client doesn’t want to rock any boats, really hoping to try and really improve the area.”
It emerged at the meeting that the two new units would be used for a barber shop on the north unit and a pharmacy on the south.
While an end user had been identified for the chemist, Mr Rodgers clarified that no discussions had taken place with NHS Ayrshire & Arran about the possibility of a pharmacy opening. He confirmed that this would take place if approval was granted.
But the councilors accepted the planning department’s recommendations and the application was refused.
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