A major housebuilder said they are “devastated” after their plans for 180 homes in Paisley were refused by Renfrewshire Council this week over capacity concerns at two schools.

AS Homes proposed the development on an “eyesore” site in Ferguslie Park which it claimed would have provided a £40 million investment in new housing.

However, the blueprint for a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom houses for the land near Junction 29 at St James Interchange failed to get the green light at the planning and climate change policy board on Tuesday (March 19).

Paul Kelly, managing director at AS Homes, told the Gazette: “This development already has an over-arching planning approval which includes the education and connectivity points.

“After an 18-month planning process, that really only covers the detail of the housing site, we are devastated that the council has rejected our plans to bring 180 much-needed new homes to Ferguslie Park.

“This site is zoned for housing and crying out for investment.

“We are completely dismayed as to why our carefully considered and collaborative approach has been rejected for reasons that the council had previously approved.

“We are facing a massive housing crisis right across Scotland, making this decision all the more staggering.”

The Gazette: Planning permission in principle was previously granted in 2019 for a mixed-use development, which included residential and other uses, such as hotels and a pub or restaurant.

On Monday we reported that AS Homes, were 'staggered' that planning officers were 'recommending a refusal' of the homes in the following day’s council planning committee meeting.

On Tuesday, elected members ultimately agreed with officers that the planning application should be rejected, citing an objection from the council’s children’s services department on grounds relating to education provision as a key reason.

It was noted that St Andrew’s Academy is operating at 118 per cent capacity and St Fergus’ Primary School at 97 per cent – both comfortably over an “acceptable threshold” of 85 per cent.

A report, which was considered by the board, said the applicant was not prepared to enter into a Section 75 agreement, which would have included a financial contribution towards education provision.

AS Homes said they will now appeal the decision with the Scottish Government independent reporter’s unit.

“We have invested millions of pounds already in the area and remain committed to supporting the much-needed transformation,” added Mr Kelly.

A plan by Springfield Partnerships for new affordable housing at a site on Station Road in Paisley was also rejected at Tuesday's meeting.  

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council said: “The applications were considered by councillors at the Planning and Climate Change Policy Board on Tuesday, March 19 and the decision was taken to refuse planning permission for both applications.”