HUNDREDS of homes are set to be built on the site of two old Johnstone schools after councillors agreed a £5million sale.

The former site of Cochrane Castle and St David’s Primary School campuses, just off Beith Road, has lain derelict since the facilities were demolished in 2007 and a new joint campus built.

Renfrewshire Council had originally planned to sell the land for homes but this fell through due to the 2008 financial crash.

READ MORE: Derelict school sites branded an eyesore

Since then, the land has been repeatedly branded an “eye-sore” in the town, with the unused space frequently used as a spot for rubbish to be dumped.

Council planners identified the site as a potential location for housing as part of the Johnstone South West Community Growth Area.

The Gazette: The site has lain derelict for more than a decade and become a dumping ground for rubbish The site has lain derelict for more than a decade and become a dumping ground for rubbish

Council chiefs took the decision to once again try to sell the land in July 2018 – and received five offers from developers for the site.

The offers were discussed at the recent meeting of the Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, where the decision was taken to accept a £5,456,515 bid from housing giant Barratt Homes, according to papers seen by The Gazette

Barratt saw off competition from Persimmon Homes Limited, even though they had submitted a lower bid than their offer of £5,665,667.

And, while discussions are ongoing over the final deal between the two parties, council leaders said they decided to choose Barratt due to its proposals for the land and for the overall impact on the area. The report states: “The second-placed offerer in terms of price was considered the most appropriate development solution.

“[The proposal from Barratt Homes] has a stronger layout, takes more cognizance of the surface water management strategy for the wider area and the design principles within the brief.

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“Their offer provides a better opportunity for flexibility in achieving a development which aligns with the principles within the Johnstone South West Masterplan.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “We are in discussions with Barratt Homes for the site of the former Cochrane Castle school. 

“However, no deal has been concluded at this time.”

Barratt Homes were contacted for comment.