A TRAVEL plan has been approved for the new Greenock Health Centre.

The plan for the former Wellington Academy site will create 222 parking spaces while there is a push to encourage people to walk, cycle or get the train or bus to the new centre.

As part of the proposals, there will be bus stops located at either side of the new facility with one directly outside the front entrance.

The bus stop on Wellington Street will also be upgraded to make it disabled friendly with a shelter.

Health bosses also plan to install a bike shelter with space for 20 bikes as well as lockers, changing and shower facilities while staff will be encouraged to car share.

The plan was approved at the Inverclyde Council planning board.

Labour councillors Jim Clocherty and Colin Jackson said they both supported the travel plan.

Councillor Clocherty said: "With regards to the travel plan, I could understand concerns if this was a new health centre being built five, six, seven miles away from the old health centre, but it's literally round the corner from the old health centre.

"You turn up Duncan Street and onto Wellington Street - it must be half a mile away if that."

Councillor Jackson added: "Anyone with local knowledge will know that it's only a couple of minutes away from the original health centre."

He said that he had only received one concern about parking at the site.

Councillor Jackson added: "It always seems to come back to parking.

"I think it's a nonsense.

"Like Jim, I think it's a great idea and we would be mad to knock this back."

SNP Councillor Innes Nelson raised concerns about the public transport links to the new centre.

He said: "I think that when you look at this, it's not well served by public transport.

"It's not got a good bus service and it's much further away from the West station.

"There's also a short hill which is no problem if you're fit and healthy but if you're not and you have heart or breathing problems then it's much more difficult to get to the new health centre."

After the discussion, Councillor McEleny put a motion forward for a decision on the travel plan to be delayed for one month until the plans are more closely analysed while Colin Jackson put an amendment forward for the plans to be approved.

The plan was approved after five councillors approved the amendment against four councillors voting for it to be continued.