A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build 200 homes on the former Ravenscraig Hospital is back in front of planners - as developers seek to remove a key condition.

Link Housing Ltd, who were narrowly granted permission in March to go ahead with the social housing development on the contaminated land, had been told to upgrade a bridge over the railway line at the site before starting construction work.

But the social housing landlords have returned to the board, arguing that this would mean a delay of up to two years.

They are asking councillors to allow them to start building the houses on the condition that the bridge is brought up to scratch by the time the first occupier moves in.

Inverclyde Council's senior planning officer Stuart Jamieson has backed the developer and again recommended approval.

Referring to the bridge upgrade stipulation, his report says: "The applicant is concerned that this process may delay start on site by up to two years and has requested a re-wording to enable construction to commence on site while requiring the upgrading to adoptable standard prior to occupation of the first residential unit.

"The recommendation is to agree to the proposed revision to the Section 75 Agreement."

Since the proposal to build the 200 social houses was made, the Tele has revealed the extent of the toxic chemical contamination on site and the concerns even at government level.

A petition by local residents urged the council to refuse permission to build on the land.

At the planning board in March the application was passed following a 5-4 vote despite concerns raised by Councillor Drew McKenzie about the land.

It was granted with 33 conditions attached including agreement that the development would not commence until a full environmental investigation and risk assessment is approved covering a remediation scheme to fix any 'pollutant linkages'.

The developers must also bring any presence of previously unrecorded contamination or variation to anticipated ground conditions during the site works to the attention of the planning authority.

Councillors on the planning board will meet on Wednesday to discuss the application to remove the current condition regarding the bridge work.