OVER 200 objections have been lodged against a controversial plan to build 100 new homes on greenbelt land in Kilmacolm.

Developers Taylor Wimpey West Scotland want to construct properties on a 14.5-acre plot at Planetreeyetts, between Finlaystone Road and Quarry Road.

The proposal took a major step forward last month when the company applied for planning permission in principle from Inverclyde Council.

According to the local authority website, there have been 218 public objections to date and just two submissions in support before yesterday's deadline.

The Planetreeyetts bid is one of a number of proposed village developments which have been met with fierce resistance from Kilmacolm residents, who fear new schemes will have a negative effect on the countryside, plantlife, wildlife and areas that are well-used by walkers and children.

Taylor Wimpey, who held a series of public consultation events last year, insist there is demand for more houses in the area.

They say their privately-owned new-builds would be 'high quality' with a quarter of the development providing affordable housing.

But Bill Crookston, of the Kilmacolm Residents' Association, said: "The audacity that some large-scale, 'volume' private house builders have - or many in the case of Kilmacolm - is quite staggering.

"We have the usual large developers running a merry dance around our Scottish planning system.

"Our democratically elected councillors voted 8-2 in favour of preserving the greenbelt. "Of course that doesn't matter one iota to Taylor Wimpey, or the other developers, who simply submit large scale planning applications which will destroy precious greenbelt.

"When these developers get refused by any council, they just put an appeal into the Scottish Government who appoints a reporter to decide the application. "The business model here is to get the reporter to overturn the local community and council's decision."

The housebuilder has responded by saying there is a huge demand for more houses in the area.

Lesley McVeigh, strategic land and planning manager for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said: "It is clear from the major community engagement events we held in June and August, which we used to shape our proposals for the development, that there is a strong desire for new homes in the village, especially for first-time-buyers and those looking to downsize.

"There are many from Kilmacolm who want to stay in the village but are not currently able to do so due to a shortage of appropriate housing. "We have listened to them and worked hard to address their needs and also provided 25 per cent affordable housing.

"The development proposals will include a mix of new homes, with a specific focus on two and three bedroom, as well as the associated open space and infrastructure which aims to appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.

"The council has submitted its new proposed local development plan to the Scottish ministers for examination and the outcome of this is expected in summer 2019."