A COMMUNITY stalwart has hit out at proposals to build a multi-storey car park in Kilmacolm.

Helen Calvert, chair of Kilmacolm New Community Centre Board, says the plan would destroy years of work to preserve the historic village.

The proposal is to erect an upper level above the Lochwinnoch Road car park at the rear of the Cargill Centre as an option to ease the pressure on parking within the village.

The KNCC group helped to transform two semi-derelict 19th century school buildings to create a community centre, library, doctor's surgery and piazza.

Mrs Calvert said: "After all the group's hard work, a multi-storey car park would destroy the ambience of the centre and the village.

"It wouldn't be in keeping with Kilmacolm, especially as this area of the village has been designated as a conservation zone."

The additional level would provide an extra 34 car parking spaces.

This is one of five options which will go in front of Inverclyde Council's Environment and Regeneration Committee on Thursday.

Other plans being considered are building at the former police station, Smithy Brae, Gibson Lane and Moss Road/Gillburn Road.

Council papers state that further investigation should be given to the 'potential for car parks'.

The scheme will include a public consultation to determine whether residents would be in favour of the locations - and if they would use them.

Mrs Calvert said: "I would agree there is a parking problem in the village, but this is not the solution.

"If people are patient they will manage to find a space somewhere. I certainly wouldn't like to see any changes to the running of the Lochwinnoch Road car park."

It took KNCC Board ten years to restore, alter and refurbish the historic spot as part of a major urban regeneration project.

The two buildings are now called the Cargill Centre after the main sponsor, WA Cargill,

Councillor David Wilson said parking was a long-running issue for residents and those concerns had prompted this review.

He said: "The villagers have asked for extra parking because on certain occasions, it is difficult to find somewhere to stop in the existing car parks.

"Consultants came up with five options and there will be a public consultation to assess the feelings of the villagers before moving forward.

"As chairman of the planning board I don't want to commit to any of them."