A DECISION on controversial plans to build 90 homes in Neilston has been delayed to allow councillors to visit the site.

Dawn Homes wants to develop land off Kirkton Road but more than 1,000 objections have been sent to East Renfrewshire Council.

Neighbours are concerned about extra noise, the loss of green space and busier roads.

Council officials recommended the proposals, which were revised in November after talks with the planning department, could be approved but, at a meeting on Wednesday, the planning committee decided a site visit should be arranged.

Councillor Annette Ireland, chair of the committee, said she had a number of concerns over the current proposals, including noise from the nearby railway, and suggested the site visit.

The move will delay a ruling until after the council elections on May 5.

Conservative councillor Jim Swift, who isn’t standing for re-election, suggested the site visit was “a bit of a cynical ploy.”

A new planning committee, formed after the elections, will now visit the site before making the decision.

Council planners recommended the scheme for approval, subject to a legal agreement to secure social housing, as the site has been identified for housing and is “a sustainable location, given its proximity to local facilities and access to public transport.”

There would be 24 properties for social rent.

Neilston residents have also raised fears over a lack of infrastructure, such as schools and shops, to support the new homes, a loss of sunlight and privacy and the impact on the environment.

However, Councillor Swift said: “I kind of think there’s no chance that this won’t be developed.

"The thousand-plus objectors who do not want development on this site? Well, it’s going to be developed, it’s in the local development plan, it’s going to happen.”

Provost Jim Fletcher added: “We need to be blunt here, it’s a site for development earmarked in the local development plan. The plan has been agreed by all of the political parties, it’s now been approved by the Scottish Government.

“There would be, from a developer’s point of view, an expectation if they come along with a proper plan for the site that the council would give planning permission because we are saying it’s an area that can be developed.

“If we were to simply refuse this because there are a number of objectors, I think it is almost one hundred per cent certain that the developer would go to the Scottish Government reporter and the reporter would say it’s a site for development in the local plan and pass it.

“I don’t think we do local people any favours with a willy-nilly rejection. If it’s going to be rejected, it has to be thorough and there has to be genuine planning reasons why this can’t go forward.”