AN ex-soldier has secured victory in his fight to gain permission to build a house on his family’s farm.

A long-running planning dispute came to an end as councillors narrowly voted in favour of Gordon Pollock’s proposal for Mossneuk Farm, in Neilston.

Planning chiefs had thrown out his plan in December but, after a heated row, the scheme went back before the committee last month.

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Councillors then opted to delay the application until a complaint made by Mr Pollock about Councillor Stewart Miller had been investigated.

However, this complaint was pulled, allowing a fresh vote on the plan to take place last week.

A delighted Mr Pollock, who has worked on the farm since he was forced to retire from the Army after being shot in Afghanistan, breathed a sigh of relief as the scheme was approved by three votes to two.

Councillor Betty Cunningham raised concerns about the need for a new house on the site and said she feared approving the plan would be “unjust.”

She asked: “The person in the existing house has got a full-time job as a teacher, plus a part-time job, so when does he work on the farm?”

However, a labour requirement report, prepared by the Scottish Agricultural College and submitted with the application, stated that the farm needs five full-time workers.

Three of these workers should be living on the farm for animal welfare reasons, the report claims.

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The application stated only two full-time workers currently live on the site.

Provost Jim Fletcher, who backed the plan, said there did seem to be a need for another full-time worker but added: “Are we being played for fools? Do we ever check it? What’s to stop anyone saying we need another farm worker?

“We have to assume the applicant is being absolutely honest.”

A condition of the planning permission means the person living in the house must be working on the farm.

Principal planner Sean McDaid said: “The condition is enforceable. A consequence could be that they’re out the house. I would hope it doesn’t come to that position.

“You can’t anticipate a breach of planning control, the applicant’s intentions cannot be questioned.

“It’s never been done in East Renfrewshire to my knowledge. It would be a very extreme situation.”

Councillor Angela Convery said: “It needs to be a closely monitored condition. We need to be very robust and ensure it is followed.”

Councillor Miller, who branded the original application “rubbish,” withdrew from the meeting while the plan was discussed.

Mr Pollock had claimed he had an undeclared conflict of interest but Mr Miller said the Pollock family was “looking for excuses.”