Seven months after specialist decontamination contractors left the former Shell refinery site in Ardrossan, the area now resembles a lunar landscape.
the3towns’ exclusive photo (above) shows just one part of the site: other areas contain layers of asphalt, concrete, 30ft-high piles of earth and protruding pipework.
As previously reported by the3towns, the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company - a private enterprise funded by public money – revealed plans for the Shell site to form part of “a major project...to create new commercial space, develop new homes and extend the existing successful marina.” The company indicated the full project would cost in the region of £70million.
the3towns understands Irvine Bay forked-out more than £6million of public money to acquire the site, and agreed to take on liability for the clean up, which is believed to have cost a further £2.6million.
No work has taken place at the site off North Crescent Road since the decontamination experts left last November, prompting Ardrossan’s Independent councillor John Hunter to describe the area as “the Three Towns’ biggest derelict site”.
Cllr Hunter spoke to the3towns after residents who live close to the shorefront site raised concerns over the way the land had been left. John Hunter said, “Understandably, local people want to know what is going on with the former Shell site. The land is supposed to have been decontaminated but the boundary fence has signs fixed to it warning of contaminated land.”
Referring to the role of Irvine Bay, the Ardrossan & Arran councillor said, “We know the long-term plan involves a housing development, but how long do they think it’s appropriate to leave a massive derelict site on Ardrossan’s shorefront?”
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company says the first phase of development for its ‘Ardrossan North Shore’ project will see the creation of a new marina with more than 200 berths, growing to around 500 by its completion.
According to the regeneration company, it expects to receive planning consent for the marina extension – which does not involve the Shell site - during the current year.