A COUNCILLOR says campaigners opposed to the housing development at the former Ravenscraig Hospital should have 'compassion' for hundreds of people on the waiting list for suitable homes.

Tory David Wilson has hit back at the objections to the plan by Link Group Ltd, in partnership with Oak Tree Housing Association, to build 198 homes on the former hospital site.

The £24 million development will include a mix of terraced houses and cottage flats for social rent, with up to 10 per cent being built for disabled people.

But the plans have been mired in controversy from day one, due to issues over the toxic land, its sale, road traffic concerns on the adjacent A78 and a police probe.

However Mr Wilson, a former director of Link, says the benefits of the scheme are being overlooked.

The councillor said: "River Clyde Homes have 714 folk on their waiting list with disabilities.

"I do wish that people would bear this in mind when they are objecting to the Link development at Ravenscraig."

MSP Stuart McMillan recently weighed into the row around the development when he demanded an immediate halt to roadworks planned to help facilitate the development.

He said a proposed 'pedestrian refuge crossing' on the A78 was too small and in the wrong location and hit out over the way the application had been handled.

He called for work to stop until residents' concerns were addressed.

But Councillor Wilson has criticised the MSP and his SNP colleague, MP Ronnie Cowan, over their views about the development.

He said: "Messrs McMillan and Cowan have jumped on the bandwagon and should know better.

"Both Inverclyde Council and Link have given assurances on the safety of the site."

The Telegraph has been inundated with correspondence and comments from readers opposed to the project for some time and a protest and demonstration is being planned against it.

But Mr Wilson denies that there is widespread opposition.

He claims that a small group of people who live near the site are trying to block the development.

Cllr Wilson said: "From the emails I have received from six people there is an organised campaign to stop the development.

"The recent emails are concerning the A78, which is a Scottish Government responsibility and queries should be addressed to Transport Scotland not Inverclyde Council and its councillors.

"A bit of compassion for the 714 on the waiting list with disabilities should trump nimbyism."