By Karen Peattie

AMBITIOUS plans for a £100 million mixed-use development on the former IBM site in Greenock that include residential homes, shops, leisure and community facilities are progressing after being submitted to Inverclyde Council.

The proposals for the Spango Valley site by local businessmen Sandy and James Easdale, owners of the McGill's bus group, along with Advance Construction, include the reopening of the railway station on the line to Wemyss Bay.

Prepared and submitted by planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore, the application seeks planning permission in principle for a mixed-use masterplan which would include up to 450 new homes alongside areas of new employment, leisure, community and retail use.

The proposals also include a new park and ride facility adjacent to IBM Rail Halt, which would see the station reopened to the public, alongside areas of greenspace, parkland and a network of new paths across the site.

Sandy Easdale described the project as a "massive opportunity" for the area and said it would have a "significant positive economic impact across Inverclyde, providing a large mix and number of quality new homes, as well as modern employment, commercial and retail space".

Mr Easdale added: "Not only will the development attract new people to the area, but it will be desirable to those already living here.”

Advance Construction's managing director, Seamus Shields, said the submission of plans to Inverclyde Council was a "key milestone" for a project that would provide a "lasting legacy".

Planning director for Barton Willmore in Scotland, Colin Lavety, said the proposals were a culmination of a "huge amount of positive design and technical work undertaken by our project team, including a full environmental impact assessment". "Not only will it deliver much needed new homes, but a range of complimentary uses which will transform the site into a high-quality, vibrant, attractive environment to live and work," he said. "We look forward to further positive discussions with Inverclyde Council as we look to progress these proposals towards construction.”

About 130 jobs will be created through the construction phase and a further 300 upon completion.