Work on a controversial housing development in East Renfrewshire is under way...despite significant public opposition and fears over flood risks.

Legal challenges by the Newton Mearns Residents Flood Prevention Group (NMRFPG) to halt the £150million Maidenhill project have been unsuccessful, allowing CALA Homes and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland to press ahead with the development, which includes plans for 834 homes and a new Maidenhill Primary School.

NMRFPG claim that as many as 1,500 residents in Newton Mearns could be at risk of flooding if the development continues.

A spokesman said: “The flood risk assessment for Maidenhill Farm shows that post-development rain run-off risks flooding properties offsite in Mearnskirk.

“In addition, the local sewer network has been overloaded for decades due to lack of investment."

Developers say initial work has started on the framework of and access to the new Maidenhill community.

Angus Murray, construction director of CALA Homes (West), added: "We have spoken about Maidenhill as a new community for a very long time so it is great to be able to break the ground to mark work commencing. 

"Our initial efforts will focus on creating the road network to facilitate access to the school and sports and recreation facilities.

“It will be some time before anyone sees houses on the development but this is a real milestone for Maidenhill as it means we have taken the first real steps in turning the dream of this fantastic new community into a reality.”

Brian Henderson, production director of Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, added: “We are at the very beginning of creating Maidenhill and as we forge on with the infrastructure, we are keeping our promise of delivering a fantastic new community with a mix of private and affordable homes as well as the community amenities, front of mind.

“We’ll be working closely with East Renfrewshire Council and the local community to ensure Newton Mearns reaps the benefits of our long-term investment in the area.”