A FORMER director of the development company at the centre of the Ravenscraig Hospital toxic land deal now under police investigation has welcomed an escalation of the probe.

David Wilson — convener of Inverclyde Planning Board which granted permission for social housing on the contaminated site — says he stands ready to 'contribute' to the enquiry.

Councillor Wilson's comments come after the Telegraph revealed at the weekend that the investigation has been passed to Police Scotland's specialist Economic Crime Unit.

A team of officers based at the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh are examining a large number of documents as part of the overall investigation.

The land was secretly sold to social housing provider, and private company, Link Group Ltd for £1 in a so-called back-to-back deal involving NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and the Scottish Government.

The sprawling 83-acre estate — which has confirmed 'multiple exceedances' of dangerous and cancer-causing pollutants — was never placed on the open market.

Link now has permission to build 198 social homes directly on top of the harmful chemicals and stands to receive £15.3 million of public money for doing so.

An earlier intention to build a mix of private and social homes on the site was scrapped in the wake of a contamination report.

Inverclyde Planning Board voted 5-4 to approve the company's plans for Ravenscraig on March 6 last year.

The decision was made after Councillor Wilson — who remains on the board of Link affiliate, Larkfield Housing Association — declared an interest and took no part in the debate or vote.

Mr Wilson said: "I welcome the Police Scotland Economic Crime Unit investigation and am happy to contribute if required.

"I am on record of supporting this development of 200 social houses which will include a sizeable number of disabled access properties and accommodation suitable for the elderly.

"The vast majority of social housing on Scotland is built on brownfield contaminated land."