Tearoom plan for ‘dry’ Shiskine

The site of the proposed cafe.

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A new tearoom is being planned for Shiskine which is presently without anywhere to even have a cup of tea.

The proposal is to erect a simple traditional new building to house the tearoom comprising a seating area, toilet facilities, a serving area and kitchen. Ancillary to this will be an outside seating area, children’s play area and parking provision for cars, bicycles and horses.

The tearoom is being proposed by Ms Katie Webster, who has run the Machrie Bay Tea Room for four years, and has now submitted a planning application to North Ayrshire Council.

The tearoom would be build on a site to the north of the village, adjacent to the String Road, in the corner of, what is presently, a grazing field south east of Inglewood.

A planning and design statement drawn up by architect Alastair Howe states: ‘Shiskine remains the largest settlement between Brodick and Blackwaterfoot with around 150 houses and a resident population of over 300,which almost doubles when holiday homes are in use.

‘Whilst it has a church and primary school, and despite it hosting the medical centre that serves the west of Arran, there are no other facilities. At present the residents of Shiskine and Machrie, and anyone else who is passing through the district, must go to Blackwaterfoot if they want as much as a cup of tea or a sandwich. In addition, there is also a steady stream of walkers, cyclists, and motorists travelling along the String Road.

‘The applicant has successfully run the Tea Room at Machrie for four years, and being a resident of Shiskine, she is aware of the lack of facilities in the village and wishes to use her experience to improve the village for all.

‘The site is at the northern end of a field, the owner of which is related to the applicant and is supportive of the proposal. Other locations and existing buildings within the village have been considered but none were considered suitable for a variety of reasons.’

An online survey was undertaken in May last year and only one negative response was received in more than 40 responses. The majority of the comments related to the point that there is nowhere in Shiskine to go to gather socially and therefore the proposal would be good for the community. Many also commented that it would reduce the need to drive to meet up. There was also mention of increased employment opportunities and as a place for young people to meet socially and independently.

The application is presently under consideration by council planning officials.


The site of the cafe is marked out in the field in Shiskine. 01_B26cafe01