PLANS to build scores of homes on land where two Johnstone schools once stood have moved a step closer to reality after the applicant formally submitted proposals to Renfrewshire Council.

The former site of Cochrane Castle Primary and St David’s Primary, just off Beith Road, has lain derelict since the old school buildings were demolished in 2007 and a new joint campus was constructed.

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

READ MORE: Homes set to be built on ‘eyesore’ Renfrewshire site after £5m sale agreed

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

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

As previously revealed by The Gazette, council chiefs took the decision to accept a £5.5million bid by housing giant Barratt Homes.

And, last week, the developer formally informed council chiefs of their intention to lodge a planning application by submitting a ‘proposal of application notice.’

As well as houses, which are believed to number in the region of 100, the plans also contain outlines for retail development.

The Gazette: Cllr John Hood, at the proposed site, is backing the plans Cllr John Hood, at the proposed site, is backing the plans

Councillor John Hood, who has spoken previously about the need to transform the site, told The Gazette that the plans, if given the green light, will be a “massive boost” to the local area.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to see these plans making progress, as the site has lain derelict for ages.

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“It has been an absolute eyesore and continues to suffer from fly-tipping.

“The whole development will be a Godsend to the local area and it’s especially encouraging to hear about the retail units.

“This will also help to create jobs for the local area and that will have a great knock-on effect for the economy.

“The fear of the unknown will always worry people and they would like to know what is going to happen to the rest of Beith Road.”

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