AMBITIOUS plans to build more than 200 affordable homes in the Barrhead area have been welcomed.

At a meeting of East Renfrewshire Council’s cabinet last week, the creation of three further social housing projects was given the green light.

This will see 120 new homes going up in and around Barrhead, adding to the 80 properties which were approved in November last year.

Councillor Danny Devlin, convener for housing and maintenance services, said: “East Renfrewshire is a popular place to live and we want to increase our housing stock to meet the needs of our communities.

“We believe these additional homes for social rent will be a great asset to East Renfrewshire and it will be exciting to see the plans develop over the coming months.”

The 200 new properties for the Barrhead area are part of a council-wide plan to build almost 700 homes across East Renfrewshire.

In November, ERC approved its own Strategic Housing Investment Plan, with the aim of eventually providing nearly 700 homes by 2023.

A total of 544 of the planned 693 social housing units for rent are set to be completed within the first three years, with the rest following in a second phase to be finished within the next five years.

Locations for the latest housing projects have yet to be confirmed but, as the plans have now been rubber-stamped, land availability studies are set to take place.

Construction of the first of the new social homes developments in Barrhead is set to begin in the coming weeks, with work taking place at sites in Robertson Street and Fenwick Drive.

A third site at Blackbyres Court will follow and it is expected that a number of affordable homes will be available, delivered largely through developers’ contributions.

Plans for the new homes have been welcomed by Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur.

He said: “It is great news that East Renfrewshire Council is planning to build another 120 new houses for social rent in Barrhead.

“The Scottish Government is investing over £3billion to provide at least 50,000 affordable homes over this parliamentary term and I’m pleased that this will have a positive impact here in my constituency.

“I know that these homes will have a positive impact for those who will live in them and the wider community and I’m pleased that the council is taking these proposals forward.”

Councillors approved the latest housebuilding programme as they seek to meet national targets set by the Scottish Government which aim to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes across the country over the lifetime of the next parliament.

All plots for the new housing are expected to fall within ERC’s existing or proposed Local Development Plan.