Controversial plans to build 200 homes near a sleepy East Renfrewshire village have been formally rejected by the Scottish Government.

Gladman’s application for the Waterfoot site had been passed to the Scottish Government’s reporter after East Renfrewshire Council decided against approving the development.

Now, in a victory for campaigners who warned the new houses would damage the local greenbelt, the Holyrood adjudicator has snubbed the project.

Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw praised those who have staged a long-running battle against the plans.

He said: “Along with my Scottish Conservative colleagues, I vigorously opposed this development from the outset.

“Residents can now breathe a sigh of relief that the Scottish Government reporter has listened to legitimate planning concerns and rejected this application for hopefully the last time.”

Alongside the 200 homes, community and retail facilities would also have been built as part of the project.

While acknowledging the potential benefits gained from an increase in affordable housing in an area that currently sees some squeezed out of the property market, the reporter found that concerns over the greenbelt were too great to be overlooked.

It was also stressed that other sites within East Renfrewshire that are not part of the greenbelt are available for new housing.

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton said: “Thankfully, the Scottish Government reporter heard the very real concerns of residents and rejected the fundamental change this proposal would have brought to Waterfoot.

“I submitted a substantive objection to this unwarranted and unwanted intrusion into East Renfrewshire’s greenbelt just after being elected.”

The Barrhead News contacted both Gladman and East Renfrewshire Council about the latest twist to the long-running saga but neither was prepared to comment.