A major property developer has hit out after 180 'much-needed' new homes in Paisley may be refused.

Local family housebuilder, AS Homes, has been left 'staggered' as planning officers are 'recommending a refusal' of the homes at Ferguslie Park in an upcoming council planning committee meeting.

The developer says it comes after Renfrewshire Council granted permission in principle in 2019 and allocated the site for the development of houses.

Now, AS Homes claim if the refusal was endorsed by councillors, it would result in the loss of a £40million investment in much-needed new housing and regeneration at Ferguslie Park.

Originally, the Glasgow housebuilder submitted plans for 180 new homes for the site near Junction 29, at St James Interchange at Ferguslie Park.

The proposal included a mix of two-, three-, four-, and five-bedroom terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses, with generous garden areas, open spaces, and a dedicated play area.

The development has been designed to take account of the Scottish Government's 'Designing Streets' policy - with emphasis on the ease of pedestrian movement in the area.

Meanwhile, the housebuilder also says in 2021 the site was noted as a 'transitional area' and 'development opportunity site', as well as being an established Allocated Housing Site by Renfrewshire Council.

AS Homes said in-principle approval was granted in 2019 for the wider site comprising a mixed-use development including residential.

This was followed by an AMSC (Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions) application for 180 new homes which was validated by the council in September 2022.

However, delays from Renfrewshire Council have meant the decision has now taken over 18 months - set against a target determination period for this type of application of just two months.

The company has also claimed the Children's Service department objected to the development due to a 'lack of school places', including St Andrew’s Academy and St Fergus Primary School which are currently both above 85% capacity.

AS Homes says they have sought to engage with the council on several occasions in relation to this, but have received no reply or guidance. 

Now, if the application is refused by councillors on March 19, the developer intends to appeal the decision to the Scottish Government's independent reporter's unit.

Paul Kelly, Managing Director at AS Homes said: “We are a local, family-run housebuilder who is committed to delivering for local communities in Ferguslie Park and the wider Paisley area.

"We are staggered that Renfrewshire Council is recommending refusal for 180 homes at a period of severe housing shortage, especially in an area like Ferguslie Park which could significantly benefit from this massive investment.

“This development is located on a site already zoned for housing and would support the regeneration of Ferguslie Park.

"Along with blocking the creation of new homes for families, this decision would prevent £40 million of investment into Ferguslie Park, which in turn supports job creation and brings significant social and economic benefits to the community.” 

“The planning process for this development has been dragged out by Renfrewshire Council, with the time taken to reach a decision now over 18 months.

"This is unacceptable given the housing emergency in this area. We would have hoped for more positive engagement with Renfrewshire Council on how we can come together to build much-needed new homes, in turn supporting the redevelopment of communities like Ferguslie Park.”

Meanwhile, Liz Hamilton, senior land and planning manager at AS Homes added: “The planning officers cite connectivity and education as the reasons for refusal, however, both of these matters were approved and deemed acceptable by the council within the overarching planning permission in principle approval. 

"We therefore are firmly of the view that the council has no legal or planning basis to refuse the application for these reasons.”

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council said: “This application has been subject to detailed consideration and discussions have been had with the applicant and their representatives.

"The application will be considered by councillors at the Planning and Climate Change Policy Board on Tuesday, March 19.”