This time we are going to have a wee look at the 'thinking' behind the shape of the whole new town. The first plan (1967) showed the locations of various land uses and the proposed road network; as you can see from the photo, it also showed the creation of a new town centre, somewhere to the south of Stanecastle. The 1971 plan moved the town centre to an area due west of Irvine's historic Cross. This necessitated: the demolition of a 400 year old bridge; the complete destruction of the heart of Fullarton (a separate community until the late 19th Century); the devastation of most of Waterside, a beautiful, tranquil, part of the town; the creation of ugly settings for three of the town's churches (Trinity, Wilson Fullarton and Fullarton); the visual cutting off of the town centre from the Harbouside; and the creation of a very poor impression of the Royal Burgh from the railway station. I could produce a very long list of other adverse consequences which flowed from this 1971 plan revision. To sum up this 1971 Masterplan in two words: 'completely nuts'.
It has been said that the relocation of the town centre was due to pressure the town's traders. I find it hard to believe that the IDC ever listened to anyone's objections to anything.
This photo was taken by George McMaster. A view of the western 'face' of the ancient Burgh, taken from Fullarton Street at the end of the 60s/beginning of the 70s. All three villas in this photo were demolished shown depicted in this image (centre and right) were demolished shortly after this shot was taken. Two of the town's three major skyline features can be seen here: the steeple of the Town House (1862) on the extreme right, and Trinity Church (1862-96) just to the left of centre. On the extreme left of this image is the western end of Bridgegate (all of these properties met a similar fate to that suffered by the villas, within a few years of this date).