Almost 40 homes are set to be built on the outskirts of Barrhead after councillors gave the green light despite planners’ recommending the scheme should be refused.

Briar Homes wants to develop land at Lyoncross Farm, off Aurs Road — which the firm believes will promote the “natural extension of Barrhead” and provide an “attractive to a wide range of households”.

East Renfrewshire Council had received 16 objections to the plan, and officials had concerns over the lack of affordable housing, the impact on Dams to Darnley Country Park and the loss of “established” trees.

Councillors on the planning committee initially delayed making a decision to visit the site, but have now ruled the project can go ahead.

There will need to be a legal agreement to secure a financial contribution to cover the lack of affordable housing on site before the homes can be built.

Planners recommend refusal as the proposal was “not anticipated or planned for” within a Barrhead South masterplan.

New homes are under construction to the south and west of the site and the masterplan area only has “an allocated capacity” of 158 units at Lyoncross. Planning permission has already been granted for 160 units.

They are also concerned about the impact on Dams to Darnley Country Park, through loss of land and severing the route of a “key access link”.

A tree survey revealed 59 of 99 trees would be removed, with 30 of those solely to accommodate the development. The developers intend to plant 185 trees along with “numerous woodland and hedgerow plants”.

But the planners believe the removal of “existing mature trees” will “further exacerbate the visual impact and detract from the character” of the site.

An education official said there were also “potential issues with regards to the catchment school”, which is Hillview Primary.

He said there is “already considerable residential planning in place”.

“Our projections show that the capacity at the school over the next few years will exceed the optimum planning capacity of a roll for a primary school, which we deem to be 90% at any given time.”

The official added it could “potentially result in children who would take up residence within that particular catchment area not being able to be accommodated at the school and would therefore require redirection to alternative schools within the area”.

Cllr Paul Edlin, Conservative, said: “I think we have to take cognisance of the economic benefits of 39 houses being built, the benefits for the neighbourhood and, quite frankly, I thought it was quite an attractive development.”

He added there are already other houses “in the skyline” and “a few more houses is not going to make any difference”.

Cllr Edlin also said there is a “certain flexibility in the education system”. “These houses will take a couple of years to build. It allows the education department time to expand their system to cater for it or to plan around it.

“We have to be cognisant of the shortage of housing in Scotland. I feel quite strongly that this development should go ahead.”

Cllr Betty Cunningham, Labour, said it is “a fantastic site”. “Houses are needed whether they are bought or socially rented, they are needed,” she added.

The project is set to include a mix of three, four and five-bed detached properties for private sale and a “high level of recreational and amenity space for residents”, the developers have said.