ONE of Scotland's prominent house builders has been granted planning permission for a new £8.5m development in Renfrew.

AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd have been granted planning permission to build 67 homes for social rental at Inchinnan Road, Western Park, Renfrew.

And work on the project is expected to begin this month.

The homes are being built for Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association, one of the country’s social landlords, on the site of the former Renfrew Junior FC pitch.

The application was lodged with Renfrewshire Council in April 2016.

Of the 67 units, 33 will be flats and 34 will be houses.

The houses will be a mixture of two storey, two and three bedroom, semi-detached and terraced houses.

The blocks of two-bedroom flats will be three and four storeys high. The homes will be built using timber frame construction, which brings many benefits including quicker build times and energy efficiencies.

Paul Kelly, Managing Director of AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd said: "This development is great news for Renfrew and I am delighted that planning approval was granted – it will deliver a major economic boost, creating jobs and much-needed new social housing for the area.

"We aim to start work on site this month, with completion due in early 2018.

"This is our third housing development to gain planning permission in just a few months, to build a total of 180 homes for social rental and sale across the west of Scotland, so it’s a very busy and exciting time for AS Homes."

Pat Cahill, Director of Sanctuary Scotland, said: "We are thrilled to get the go-ahead to create more affordable housing in Renfrew.

"Our Braille Drive homes in the town are hugely popular and we expect an equally positive reaction to those built on Inchinnan Road."

Renfrew Juniors were based at the site until a couple of years ago, before ground sharing at Johnstone Burgh, then moving into their new home, just along the road at Blythswood Retail Park, last summer.

And in another housing boost Renfrewshire Council has this week unveiled a five-year plan to target £34million in grant funding into projects which will provide local people with more than 700 high-quality, affordable homes in neighbourhoods where they want to live.

The homes will be a mixture of council and housing association properties.

The draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2017/18 – 2021/22 will be presented to Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety (HACS) Board today (Wednesday).

Board members are expected to give the green light for a four week consultation on the draft plan.

If approved the public, housing associations, developers and other key partners will be asked for their views on the proposals.

Copies of the draft plan will then be sent to local tenants’ and residents’ associations and the 15 housing associations working in Renfrewshire. The plan will also be made available to the public through the council’s website.

The final plan will be published by the end of the year as part of the Local Housing Strategy.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said, "Good Quality, affordable housing helps to improve people's quality of life. It is essential to achieving the council's priorities on regeneration, economic growth and prosperity and has a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

"Renfrewshire Council is committed to providing high-quality homes that people can afford to rent and buy. But the draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan isn’t just about building more houses. It is about creating homes that people want to live in, in places where they want to live.

"We are already well on track to delivering our target of 1,000 new affordable homes by 2020 and I fully expect that the final version of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan will take us beyond that."

Affordable housing includes a range of options for people who are looking for a home to rent or buy: new council homes for rent, housing association homes for rent, low cost home ownership/shared equity schemes and intermediate/mid-market rental.

Since 2011/12, 842 homes have already been completed in Renfrewshire under the Affordable Housing Investment Programme.

The draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan contains details of a range of projects which are: due to start on site soon, have recently been completed or are expected to be finished this year.

Proposed projects over the next five years include: Bishopton Community Growth Area, Johnstone Castle, Smithhills Street, Paisley, Milliken Road, Kilbarchan. Inchinnan Road, Renfrew, West End, Paisley and Orchard Street/Causeyside Street, Paisley.