A BARRHEAD activist claims a multi-million pound housing development will create a flood risk and endanger wildlife.

Sean Clerkin is calling on other local residents to join him in protesting against builders Taylor Wimpey over work to build 316 homes on a site at Springhill Road and Springfield Road, in the Auchenback area of town.

It is part of a larger development, known as the Barrhead South Masterplan, that is set to create 1,050 homes over the next 10 to 15 years.

However, Mr Clerkin believes there is a particular risk of flooding to householders from the Balgray Reservoir and Aurs Burn.

He told how the first he knew about Taylor Wimpey’s plans for the Auchenback site was when he read about them in the Barrhead News last week.

Mr Clerkin, who lives with his elderly father, Thomas, in Aurs Road, said: “We’re talking about a total development of more than 1,000 homes over the next few years – and that’s a recipe for flooding.

“East Renfrewshire Council have already admitted there is a potential flood risk and I would not be confident about building houses with this risk in place.

“Local residents’ homes have been flooded in the past by the Aurs Burn and we don’t want it to happen again.

“I’m also concerned about the impact on the environment. This development poses a threat to the natural habitat of plants and animals in the area.

“This is greenbelt land and is home to a colony of bats, which are a protected species.”

Work on the Springhill Road development is expected to begin within the next few weeks after Taylor Wimpey sealed a deal with council chiefs to buy the land.

The local authority has admitted in the past that a number of local environmental concerns, including potential flooding from the Balgray Reservoir, will need to be addressed before building work can go ahead.

However, Graeme Oswald, design and planning manager for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said: “Our development of new homes on the land off Springfield Road and Springhill Road has been granted full detailed planning consent by East Renfrewshire Council.

“As part of the planning application process for the development, we completed an Environmental Impact Assessment which has considered the impact our development has on the existing environment.

“East Renfrewshire Council has approved the Flood Risk Assessment part of the planning application and Taylor Wimpey continues to work with ERC on all planning conditions relating to the planning consent.

“This includes work carried out onsite by our consultant ecologist to ensure suitable habitat is provided for commuting bats and also includes the erection of bat poles for foraging bats.”

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council added: “Planning permission for this site, which has been designated for housing development in our Local Development Plan since 2015, was granted in June 2020.

“A full Environmental Impact Assessment was submitted as part of the application. Having considered the report in full, and with no objections received, permission was granted with a number of conditions which must be met by the developer.”