This time we're having a quick look at the IDC's plans for the Mall. As you can see from the illustration, the idea was to have a vast structure running from west of the Cross, right along to the Pilot's House. In the area east of the railway bridge, it would be made up of shops, offices and an integrated new railway station; to the west of the station would be a monorail (very trendy in the 60s) which would link pedestrians and rail passengers through an area of offices, civic buildings, a college, housing, a hotel, various leisure uses (cinema. concert hall, etc.), a marina and a leisure centre to the mouth of the harbour. The problems with the design are obvious: phased developments of this nature are seldom completed as planned, you are doomed to end up with a pig's breakfast; the individual bits of the plan are dependent on the others in order for them to work visually, they do not serve as 'stand alone' elements; what looks good on a model (especially, big bold lines and shapes), tends to look crude and brutal at 1:1 scale; and of course, in creating this 'vision' you are destroying the heart of the Fullarton community, demolishing a 400 year old bridge and seriously compromising the setting of an important medieval Scots Royal Burgh.
Had this whole sorry episode been avoided, through the creation of a new centre at Stanecastle, Irvine could have become a major tourism destination; especially as public interest in heritage gained momentum from the mid-70s onwards.