SAD senior citizens say they will lose their 'window on the world' if a controversial proposed car park is given the go ahead outside their sheltered housing complex.

Residents at Riverside Gardens say the plans will block the view from their picture window in their communal lounge.

Housing association River Clyde Homes want to build a block of 40 assisted living flats and this will include 75 parking spaces, including 25 on the grassed area beside the complex.

Jim Hunter, of the Gourock Pensioners' Group, says for many residents this is the only recreation area that they have.

He told the Telegraph: "I have no objections to the new housing and I understand the council has asked for extra car parking.

"But the car park is right in front of our lounge and it will have an impact on elderly people, who only have passive recreation.

"It means for people who can't walk very far or cannot get out, this is their only recreation.

"Just now they can sit here and watch the ferries coming and going, look out at the garden and watch the world go by.

"It's not only blocking our view but is spoiling the quality for some residents.

"It's like a window on the world for them."

Fellow Riverside resident Anne Sinclair, pictured with Jim, 85, who only gets out once a week with her family, said: "I don't like the idea of a car park.

"I like sitting here watching the boats going up and down and people waving in.

"It's a lovely view."

The pensioners' concerns were raised after they were shown an outline plan by officials.

The development would be at the car park beside Tarbet Street and would consist of 30 one-bedroom flats and 10 two-bedroom flats for social rent, managed by RCH.

It is understood that Inverclyde Council are insisting on the extra spaces.

Town councillor Lynne Quinn said: "Residents enjoy looking out onto the water and appreciate that view.

"The Riverside residents have raised concerns and I am happy to support them, this is very important to them.

"They don't want a car park in front of their lounge."

A spokeswoman for RCH said:“River Clyde Homes held a public meeting to discuss our plans to build 40 new assisted living homes at Chalmers Street on 24th September.

"Residents at Riverside Gardens expressed concerns that the stipulated number of parking spaces would block their view.

"We will continue to work closely with Inverclyde Council and local residents and are hopeful that an amicable solution can be reached.”

A spokesperson for Inverclyde Council added: “The developer is planning to build an extra 40 homes on the site.

"National guidelines say that a development of this scale should have 75 parking spaces.

"It is up to the developer how they fit them onto the site.”