Major housing plan approved by East Renfrewshire Council

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Planning chiefs have welcomed the proposal to revamp the former Shanks Industrial Park in Barrhead.

Members of East Renfrewshire Council’s planning committee have given applicant Cruden Homes/AGN Constructions Ltd’s scheme the green light.

It will see the derelict 44.5-acre Blackbyres Road site transformed into a major housing area.

No details on how many houses would be built have been included at this time but principal planner Sean McDaid said future applications would provide information.

Councillor Stewart Miller said: “Twelve years ago this was one of the areas they hoped to get planning permission for. I could see no one objecting to it then and I can see no one objecting to it now.”

And Councillor Betty Cunningham said: “It’s been a long time coming, I really welcome this.

“I think it’ll be absolutely first class, considering what we’ve had to put up with.”

Provost Jim Fletcher added: “I’m pleased what is effectively derelict land is coming into public use.”

The site does fall within a ‘Development High Risk Area’, identified by the Coal Authority, with a number of coal mining hazards including two mine entries.

However, the council’s property and technical services team is insisting a full site investigation is carried out.

A report to councillors states: “In order to establish the remediation of abnormal ground conditions, a comprehensive whole site environmental assessment and site investigation report by an appropriately qualified professional firm will be required.

“It is anticipated that a comprehensive investigation would consider the site constraints such as: contamination; culverts; bunds; coal mines; significant areas of made up ground with a mixture of bearing capacities; flood risk; existing underground culvert; and previous uses.

“All of these will potentially impact on the net developable acreage, layout of the site and value.”

More than 50 representations have been sent to the council and include concerns such as traffic congestion, road safety issues, loss of privacy for nearby residents and an increase in noise and air pollution.

However, the report states a number of these matters will be considered at the detailed application stage.

The W.G. Renfrew factory recently ceased operations on the site, which includes the remnants of previous buildings and a small area of grass, used for the grazing of cattle.