PLANNING Department Say Massive Housing Development At Greenock Hospital Site Should Go Ahead

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INVERCLYDE'S planning officials are recommending that permission being given for almost 200 houses at the site of the former Ravenscraig Hospital in Greenock.

Councillors are due to have the final say on the major development at a meeting of Inverclyde Planning Board next week.

Link Housing want approval for 48 cottage flats and 150 houses, with associated roads, amenity open space and landscaping. The development would take place in two phases, with the first aimed at providing 149 homes for social rent by March 2021.

Ninety objections have been received raising concern over a number of issues including traffic, land contamination, impact on built and natural heritage, design and layout and loss of open space.

Access for vehicles to the site would be from Branchton Road. Another access from Inverkip Road would be retained for pedestrians and cyclists. Traffic lights would be installed on Inverkip Road opposite the junction with Gleninver Road as part of the proposal.

A report by council officials states: "The applicant has proposed an interesting and well-thought through site layout.

"A development of the scale proposed will inevitably have an impact on the existing landscape, but by concentrating development on the existing development platforms the key landscape features, particularly Bunston Knowe, will not be adversely affected."

Regarding concern about contamination, the report states: "Development on brownfield sites is commonplace and both developers and the council are well practised in making sure that sites can be safely occupied without risk to future residents.

"Significant representation has been made in respect of concerns over historical site contamination and how it is to be treated. The presence of the contaminants identified in reports and by those making representations have been acknowledged and considered by the Head of Environmental and Public Protection (Environmental Health). It is concluded that these do not merit refusal of the application but that appropriate conditions can be attached to a grant of planning permission.

"It follows that the Council could retain control over occupation of the site until issues related to contamination have been addressed."

The masterplan for the site shows the development of three neighbourhoods; each with 'home zones' designed to prioritise pedestrian movement over vehicles within courtyard arrangements. The houses are mainly two storeys high in terraces of three to five properties, with between two and four bedrooms.

The old hospital building which has now been demolished

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