A NEW £13million housing development set to breathe life into a derelict hospital site has taken a step forward.

The Link Group wants to build 150 properties for social rent at Ravenscraig.

Council bosses have now pushed the project to the top of their wish list for funding.

A report looking at Inverclyde’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan says its main selling point is that it will provide a large number of affordable homes in the south west and will also offer a number of new wheelchair-accessible properties.

The report adds: “Beyond the initial 150, there is also the expectation that a private developer may contribute housing for owner occupation.”

The document continues: “Though not a determining factor, it is also worth noting that the development will provide significant regeneration to the hospital site which for the best part has been derelict for over a decade.”

Disabled rights campaigner Councillor Jim MacLeod says he hopes this is a step forward for disabled people in the area, adding: “I would hope that among the new homes a reasonable number are properly accessible, not just barrier free homes, but specifically purpose-built properties for wheelchair users. 

“While over the past seven or eight years in Inverclyde we have seen hundreds more new social housing being built, sadly too often in the new developments we have seen only one or two wheelchair-accessible properties, which is not good enough. 

“In my ten years as a councillor I have had many constituents contact me about housing. In fact housing is the biggest issue I am contacted about. 

“Many of my constituents are disabled wheelchair users who have very few properties to chose from.”

The Ravenscraig development will be built in conjunction with Oak Tree Housing and is one of 23 high-priority projects.

Second on the list is a development of 58 properties by Cloch Housing at the former King’s Glen School site beside Kilmacolm Road in Greenock.

Next is a scheme by Oak Tree Housing to build 36 homes in Auchmead Road, Greenock, followed by Sanctuary Housing’s plan for 44 properties at the former Highlanders’ Academy site.

Also on the list is a development of 120 homes by River Clyde Homes at the St Stephen’s High School site in Southfield Avenue, Port Glasgow.