PROPOSED changes to Inverclyde’s planning strategy will pave the way for a college development at Greenock’s Harbours, with existing campuses then lined up for housing.
Inverclyde officials are drawing up a new development plan for the district and want to add education to the approved land uses for East India and Victoria Harbours.
West College Scotland unveiled designs for a campus at the site in 2018.
Planners have compiled a main issues report, which is the first stage in the preparation of the development plan and is currently out for public consultation. In it they state: “The preferred option is to add education to the range of uses suitable on this site [The Harbours].
“The council has received representations seeking for educational uses to be added to the acceptable uses on The Harbours site. This is linked to a proposed new facility for West College Scotland being developed on the site as part of a mixed-use development.
“This would be linked to the existing college sites in Greenock being made available for housing development, possibly resulting in no net loss of housing land.It is considered that the redevelopment of some of The Harbours for a West College Scotland campus would bring activity to the area in its own right, and may act as a catalyst for other development on the site. The existing college sites may prove to be more deliverable for housing development than The Harbours.”
The current strategy is for housing-led redevelopment, with an indicative capacity of 240 houses. Other supported uses include tourism and heritage, shops, food and drink, public house, financial and professional services, and marine-related business and industrial uses.
Officials state: “The current strategy for the site is based on a 2006 masterplan. The delivery of thepub/restaurant and Beacon Arts Centre were departures from that masterplan, and other aspects of it have not been delivered. In particular, there has been no progress towards delivery of housing on the site.”
The main issues report lists the college’s campuses elsewhere in Greenock as potential housing opportunities — the Finnart site, above, is shown as possibly having room for 140 units and the Waterfront location 65 units.
Public consultation on the report runs until the end of the month.