TWO developers who want to build up to a total of 850 homes at Spango Valley are on a collision course with planners over the way ahead for the massive site.
Inverclyde officials are drawing up a new development plan for the district and their preferred option for the former IBM Greenock land is for a masterplan to be developed first.
Greenock businessmen Sandy and James Easdale and Advance Construction own a large part of the site (Area B in the drawing below) and have already submitted a planning application proposing around 450 houses/flats plus commercial, retail and food/drink premises plus a park-and-ride facility serving the railway line.
A second area of land (Area C in the drawing below) is owned by Sanmina who have told Inverclyde Council they propose up to 400 houses on 65 per cent of the developable land plus business, retail and community uses.
The council say both proposals deviate from the current planning strategy and are based on the view that there is market demand for housing and limited demand for business and industrial uses in the area.
Planners have compiled a main issues report, which is the first stage in the preparation of Inverclyde’s new development plan. In it they state: “The preferred option [for Spango Valley, Greenock] is the requirement for a comprehensive masterplan for the site with 50 per cent of the developable area for residential, 35 per cent for business/industrial, and the remainder for a mix of uses.
“[The masterplan] option is preferred because a co-ordinated and comprehensive approach will ensure the most appropriate layout of uses and the creation of a successful place. It will also ensure that any infrastructure requirements and constraints are jointly and fully addressed.”
The report continues: “The alternative is for the different ownerships of the sites to be recognised with a residential-led strategy for each area. This option would allow each site owner to bring forward their own proposals for the site focused on residential development.
“This could lead to development on the site being delivered sooner. However, such an approach may not deliver the most optimal mix and layout of uses across the site.
“The council is not convinced that the scale of residential development proposed under this option is appropriate, in relation to a preference for mixed uses, including employment on the site, and impact on the road network.”
Public consultation on the main issues report runs until the end of the month.
The last IBM staff at Spango Valley moved to offices at Riverside Business Park, Pottery Street, Greenock in September 2016 and the land was cleared.