Girvan’s Victory Park will be home to a new £850,000 3G playing field despite strong opposition from the community.
South Ayrshire Council intends to lodge a petition with the sheriff to get permission to make it happen.
An initial public consultation took place in Girvan Academy in November last year, to hear views on the need for a pitch, possible locations for a pitch and the best use to which a pitch could be put.
Seven locations were identified of which Victory Park was the most popular. The preferred location within Victory Park was also identified.
Changes to the use of the land did not get majority support during a consultation with 41 per cent of people consulted wanting the 3G pitch at Victory Park.
The sacred area was gifted to the people by the Dalrymple-Hamilton family.
Residents voiced worries the move could pave the way for more building on the plot but officials said there are no intentions for further development.
One resident commented: “I don’t believe the proposed development serves the whole community.
“There are ample sports facilities in Girvan and surrounding area and I don’t see the need for any more.
“I would also be concerned about the precedent being set here and worry that it gives the council the signal to do as they wish with land that was donated to communities for the good of the whole communities.”
There are also concerns about the impact on the annual Lowland Gathering festival held in the park.
Speaking at the South Ayrshire Council Leadership Panel last week, Claire Monaghan, council head of policy, performance and communication, said Girvan doesn’t have another site large enough to hold a pitch within easy reach of schools.
She said Girvan is currently the only“main population” town in South Ayrshire without such a facility.
Labour Councillor Brian McGinley said: “Common good land is for leisure use.”
Describing the state of the site in question as boggy and prone to flooding, he said modernising it would increase usage.
The depute council leader said investment in the ground is badly needed and there is no alternative.
Pointing out the popularity of 3G pitches in Troon, Councillor Philip Saxton said: “There is an over demand for pitches at Marr College. We need another one.”
The Labour councillor quipped if it doesn’t happen in the Carrick town, Troon would take the money for an additional 3G pitch instead.
SNP Councillor William Grant said: “Thousands of people in the Girvan area deserve this facility.”
The new pitch will only take up a portion of the park and will be suitable for rugby and football with the pitch complying fully with the requirements of World Rugby and FIFA.
The work includes pitch construction, minor earthworks, drainage, fencing, floodlighting, footpath construction and landscaping.