180 new homes in Paisley recommended for refusal, blocking £40M investment

Site location at Ferguslie Park

LOCAL family housebuilder AS Homes has said they are ‘staggered’ that planning officers are recommending a refusal on planning permission at the upcoming Planning Committee at Renfrewshire Council on 19 March.

If this were to be endorsed by councillors, it would result in the loss of a £40m investment in much needed new housing and regeneration at Ferguslie Park in Paisley. Despite Renfrewshire Council granting planning permission in principle in 2019 and allocating the site for development of homes in the local development plan, planners have recommended that the proposal for 180 new homes at Ferguslie Park in Paisley should be rejected. 

Paul Kelly, Managing Director at AS Homes, commented: “We are a local, family-run housebuilder who is committed to delivering for local communities in Ferguslie Park and the wider Paisley area. We are staggered that Renfrewshire Council is recommending refusal for 180 homes at a period of severe housing shortage, especially in an area like Ferguslie Park which could significantly benefit from this massive investment.

“This development is located on a site already zoned for housing and would support the regeneration of Ferguslie Park. Along with blocking the creation of new homes for families, this decision would prevent £40 million of investment into Ferguslie Park, which in turn supports job creation and brings significant social and economic benefits to the community.” 

After extensive consultation with the local community and in response to a huge demand for housing, Glasgow housebuilder AS Homes submitted plans for 180 new houses for this site near Junction 29, at St James Interchange at Ferguslie Park.  Plans submitted by AS Homes include 180 homes with a mix of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom terraced, semi-detached and detached houses, with generous garden areas, open spaces and a dedicated play area. 

The development has been designed to take account of the Scottish Government’s “Designing Streets” policy, with emphasis on ease of pedestrian movement around the development. Internal road layouts and parking provision are provided in line with the Council’s requirements and homes are all positioned to make the most of daylight and ensure the development feels open and spacious. 

In 2021, the site at Ferguslie Park was noted as a transitional area and development opportunity site, as well as being an established Allocated Housing Site by Renfrewshire Council. 

Planning Permission in Principle approval was granted in 2019 for the wider site comprising a mixed use development including residential. This was followed by an AMSC (Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions) application for 180 new homes which was validated by the council in September 2022. Delays from Renfrewshire Council have meant the decision has now taken over 18 months, set against a target determination period for this type of application of just 2 months.

Mr Kelly continued: “The planning process for this development has been dragged out by Renfrewshire Council, with the time taken to reach a decision now over 18 months. This is unacceptable given the housing emergency in this area. We would have hoped for more positive engagement with Renfrewshire Council on how we can come together to build much needed new homes, in turn supporting the redevelopment of communities like Ferguslie Park.”

AS Homes is already familiar with Ferguslie Park, having built 101 homes for Renfrewshire Council on the site of the former St Fergus Primary School. The majority of these new homes are council-owned, with a small number being sold to owners within the Tannahill regeneration area through the Scottish Government’s New Supply Shared-Equity scheme. 

On the refusal recommendation, Liz Hamilton, Senior Land and Planning Manager at AS Homes, said: “The planning officers cite connectivity and education as the reasons for refusal, however both of these matters were approved and deemed acceptable by the council within the overarching planning permission in principle approval.  We therefore are firmly of the view that the council has no legal or planning basis to refuse the application for these reasons.”

The Children’s Services department objected to the development due to a lack of school places, including St Andrew’s Academy and St Fergus Primary School which are currently both above 85% capacity. AS Homes has sought to engage with the council on several occasions in relation to this, but have received no reply or guidance. 

Should the application be refused by councillors on 19th March, AS Homes intends to appeal the decision to the Scottish Government independent reporter’s unit.

The latest stories