WORK has started on a new £2.6m housing development in Greenock.

River Clyde Homes, the district’s largest housing association, is building 20 homes in the south west area of the town at Mallard Crescent and the official sod-cutting ceremony took place on Monday.

The project is part of what is set to be a record year for the number of new homes built by the social landlord.

There will be a mix of terraced and semi-detached homes, with six of them having two bedrooms, alongside a total of 14 three-bed homes.

The properties, which will all have back and front gardens, will sit where the former blocks of flats once stood on the estate.

The association says they will be of ‘red brick construction with cladding and pitched roofs to complement the surrounding architecture’. 

Access for all houses will be provided by a new road which will link the existing Mallard Crescent road to Merlin Lane.

Traffic calming measures will be introduced to ensure road safety.

Gary Wilson, executive director of property services at RCH, said: “These are much needed modern, family homes.

“The area is popular with families, given its proximity to a range of community and sports facilities and good transport links.”

The development — designed by Chameleon Homes and built by Cruden Building — is part of the association’s ambitious plan to build 750 new homes in Inverclyde over the next five years.

Work will begin at the historic James Watt Dock in Greenock in spring on 136 new homes.

A total of 96 new houses are being built in the Slaemuir area of Port Glasgow and the first phase, of 28 properties, will be finished by autumn this year.

Meanwhile the 41-home development at the Port’s Bay Street is nearing completion, with the first tenants set to move in during the spring.

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building, said: “We are delighted to continue our strong working relationship with River Clyde Homes as we begin work on this exciting new development in Greenock’s Mallard area.

“These high quality, modern family houses will provide full silver standard energy efficiency levels which will give residents homes that are greener, warmer and cheaper to run.

“Throughout this project we will work closely with local suppliers to directly benefit the Inverclyde economy and provide young people with valuable work placement and training opportunities.”