Plans to demolish a toilet block at Castle Semple Country Park in Lochwinnoch and replace it with a new visitor facility have been given the green light.

Architects working on behalf of Renfrewshire Council unveiled proposals earlier this year, which will see the run-down block make way for a multi-purpose building with toilets, cycle hire provision and an information kiosk.

The extent of the work was detailed in a design and access statement by O’Donnell Brown, with the project intended to produce a significant improvement on the current offer.

The document said: “The brief is to design for a new visitor facility at Castle Semple Country Park, Lochwinnoch.

“This will involve demolition of the existing toilet block and the creation of a new multi-purpose building including new public WC facilities, cycle hire facility and information kiosk.

“The site is located along the north side of Castle Semple Loch which sits within the Castle Semple country park.

“The country park originally formed part of a large estate and was acquired by Renfrewshire Council in 1971.

“The site is part of the Castle Semple Visitor Centre located on the north shore of the loch and alongside the National Cycle Route (NCR7) and operated by Renfrewshire Council.

“The visitor centre is open throughout the year and includes recreational, hospitality and educational facilities with a strong focus on education.

“The proposed site is the existing toilet facilities and cycle storage building which has become dilapidated and unfit for its intended use.”

The document explained it would be “difficult and costly” to carry out sufficient repairs to the block.

It said: “Weather driven into the exposed end grain of the timber planks has caused substantial rot which has exposed the steel rods and can therefore be assumed to have compromised, to some degree, the integrity of the structure.

“There was some evidence of black mould in the gents toilet ceiling. It is likely that there is some unseen damage and deterioration to the roof and ceilings and at the wall-head connection, between roof and walls.

“As there is evidently damage to the primary load-bearing structure of the building, and likely further unknown damage to unseen areas we consider that it would be difficult and costly to implement sufficient structural repairs to enable the structure to be utilised in a new scheme.”

Explaining the reason for its decision, the council said the proposal was in line with the provisions of the development plan.

It is anticipated work will start on site in September and be ongoing for a period of four to six months.