Villagers have vowed to do “whatever it takes” to save greenbelt land in Lochwinnoch from housing proposals after councillors voted to delay adopting the new Local Development Plan (LDP).

The blueprint was approved in 2019 but, in recent months, has been examined by an independent reporter appointed by the Scottish Government.

The reporter suggested several modifications to the LDP, which included adding land to the west of Barochan Road, Houston; in Thirplee Road, Bridge of Weir; in Northbar, Erskine; and three sites in Elderslie – the golf club, Auchenlodment Road and Barrhill Crescent.

But at a planning board meeting last week, councillors voted to throw out the reporter’s recommendations – meaning that, at least for now, the proposed LDP will not be adopted.

The news has been welcomed by residents in Lochwinnoch, who have been fighting hard to save a field next to Burnfoot Road from future development, which was included in the LDP when it was approved two years ago.

Although it remains part of the blueprint, activists are hoping this latest move by councillors will give the land, which is prone to flooding, a stay of execution.

Colin Patterson, a member of the Burnfoot Action Group, said: “This is definitely a step in the right direction.

“If the council and its officials do come up with an alternative plan, we hope they will see sense and simply exclude Burnfoot Road from it.

“We obviously await the outcomes following this but, as a group and as a village, we are not going away. We will continue our resistance and we will do whatever it takes to make sure the right thing is done here.

“There are a number of concerns. For the people living in the immediate area, the risk of flooding is a strong concern and development would increase this risk.”

“The other issue is this is greenbelt land, protected from development by Regional Park designation. If houses were built here, it would take away the character of the village.”

The reporter had also recommended removing land at Erskine Riverfront, Manse Crescent, in Houston, and the former golf driving range at Rannoch Road, in Johnstone, from the housing envelope.

Councillors Andy Doig and James MacLaren attempted to table amendments suggesting the removal of Burnfoot Road from the LDP entirely but were told these were “incompetent.”

The council has so far indicated there is no scope for removing the Lochwinnoch site from the LDP after the reporter agreed it was suitable for development.

Councillor Doig, who moved to reject the reporter’s recommendations, said: “I think there’s a lot of disquiet about the new LDP right across the council and I think that tells us this needs to be addressed now.

“We really have to listen to communities.”