By Monica Gibson

A CALL has been made to alter plans to build 14 affordable homes in Neilston.

Barrhead Housing Association is due to submit a planning application this week for the delivery of homes for rent at Kirkstyle Lane, known locally as ‘Pig Square.’

Allan Walker, of the Neilston Development Trust, said the proposals should be considered a good news story for the area as, if done correctly, they could make the village more vibrant.

However, he added: “Although we support the development and think Pig Square is an ideal place for that type of housing, we are not enamoured with the layout.

“The council have insisted in maintaining the car park in its current place. I feel they could move the car park somewhere nearby and then remove the gas pipe which runs through the middle.

“This would allow the houses to be built a bit further back and save the big old tree in the middle of the square, which everyone loves.

“It seems as though they have stacked the demands on BHA too high instead of working with them.”

BHA say their application follows a period of extensive investigation of ground conditions to establish if the site can be developed and that the site has been included for funding as part of the council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan to deliver more homes throughout East Renfrewshire.

A consultation event was held at the Bank to gauge public mood about the development.

Shirley Robison, BHA’s chief executive, said: “The consultation event was attended by almost 40 local people.

“The results are mixed, with many local residents in favour of more housing within the area and many positive responses about the actual design of the house types and layout. However, there are wider community concerns about the removal of the oak tree and the car parking congestion around the local area.

“The existing car park is to be retained and 15 new car parking spaces will be provided within the development.

“All responses are available on our website and we have passed these on to East Renfrewshire Council.”

Provided BHA gets the necessary permission for the development, work is due to start early next year.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “The formal application for this development has still to be submitted by BHA. Once it is received, the application will be assessed against our rigorous criteria and then presented to councillors for a decision.

“Whilst pre-planning advice has been provided to BHA, it is not possible to assess the development in full until the formal application is submitted.”

For more information on the Pig Square application, visit