ANGRY residents in Erskine claim they were “sold down the river” when a controversial housing development got the go-ahead.

Renfrewshire Council approved plans by CALA Homes to start work on 195 properties near Florish Road.

The housing giant had to meet strict criteria to get the green light, including proving that the site was not the location of the Battle of Renfrew in 1164, and banishing concerns over public transport links.

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Residents living near the site, which was greenbelt land for more than 30 years, had fought tooth and nail to prevent the development.

Jim Gardiner and his wife Margaret, who oppose the plans, said they feel they have been let down by every level of government.

“We now feel this was a battle we were never going to win,” Mr Gardiner told The Gazette.

“We  were on a hiding to nothing from the start.”

Mrs Gardiner said: “We feel we have been absolutely sold down the river by every politician.”

In December, council leader and Erskine man Iain Nicolson had raised concerns about “significant deficiencies” in CALA’s planning application.

But, speaking after the developer was given approval, Cllr Nicolson said there were no longer any reason to withhold planning permission.

The Gazette: Cllr Iian Nicolson says his concerns about the plans have been overcome Cllr Iian Nicolson says his concerns about the plans have been overcome

He added: “My main aim was to ensure we achieved the best development that we could and ensure safe walking routes to local schools, public transport and protecting any historical finds on the site.”

A council spokesman said the local authority “fully appreciates” the importance of listening to the views of residents when considering any planning application.

He added: “Representations by members of the public were fully considered and detailed in the reports considered by councillors at the board.” 

“Various conditions were attached to the consent which had to be met before the development started.

READ MORE: Residents lose fight against house plan

“These conditions secured public transport commitments, upgrades to path networks and an extensive archaeological survey of the site.”

A spokesperson for CALA Homes (West) said: “We will continue to work with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and the local community to improve connectivity for residents and we are committed to keeping any disruption to a minimum.”

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