Local Development Plan (LDP) policies on promoting tourism are listed below:

The Council will actively support and encourage the appropriate development of new and the improvement of existing tourism facilities throughout the area where proposals meet with all other relevant LDP policies.

Particular support will be given to sympathetic development which enhances the tourism offer of Dean Castle Country Park, Kilmarnock; Loudoun Castle Estate, Galston; Dumfries House and Estate, Cumnock; Craigengillan Estate, Dalmellington and Auchinleck Estate by Auchinleck.

Green tourism initiatives relating to the high scenic, landscape quality and nature conservation interest of the Doon and Irvine Valleys, Loch Doon and Glen Afton as well as the Muirkirk Uplands and River Nith areas will also be encouraged and supported, where green tourism initiatives have demonstrated that they will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of a Natura 2000 site, SSSIs and other important nature conservation features.

Within settlement boundaries, the Council will support the development of new hotel, guest house, self-catering, camping and caravan sites and huts where they comply with all relevant LDP policies. The conversion of existing residential or other properties to these types of tourism accommodation will receive similar support.

Outwith settlement boundaries, camping and caravan sites will be supported where they comply with all other relevant LDP policies.

Hotels, guest houses and self-catering units which are proposed outwith settlement boundaries will require to be accompanied by a business plan or similar justification and planning conditions will be used to restrict the use of such properties to tourism.

Developments associated with the use of land in the countryside for sporting, leisure or recreational activities will be supported by the Council provided that:

(i) There is a demonstrated and justified need for the development to be in a rural location

(ii) The proposed new development is accessible by public transport

(iii) There are no adverse impacts on landscape, natural and/or built heritage resources

(iv) There are no adverse impacts arising from increased traffic

(v) The proposal complies with all other relevant Local Development Plan policies

Proposals which do not meet with the criteria above will not receive Council support. 

East Ayrshire Council will support the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, and will presume against development proposals within the boundaries of the park that would produce levels of lighting that would adversely affect its “dark sky” status. The boundaries of the Dark Sky Park and of the buffer zone are shown on Map 10 of volume 1. Development will require to be in line with statutory guidance on Dark Sky Park Lighting. (PDF 1.9Mb) This document will include guidance for proposed developments within the buffer zone which may have a lighting impact on the Dark Sky Park.

Outwith the Dark Sky Park, and in particular within the 10 mile radius of the Park known as the transition zone, the Council will encourage developers to take account of the Dark Sky Park designation and take measures to limit light pollution, in line with the measures set out in the Dark Sky Park Lighting (PDF 1.9Mb) Supplementary Guidance.

Supplementary Guidance on Dark Sky Park Lighting Supports policy TOUR 4 by providing information on the following:

  • A checklist for lighting
  • Lighting in the Dark Sky Park Transition Zone
  • Good lighting practice guide
  • Example planning conditions for development in the Dark Sky Park and Dark Sky Park Transition Zone

The Council will encourage developments and proposals that support the aims of the Biosphere, particularly where they provide an innovative approach to sustainable living and the economy. Developments which support and improve the understanding and enjoyment of the area as a world-class environment will also be supported.

Contact Information

Planning & Economic Development
Telephone: 01563 576790