A CALL from Inverclyde's MSP for all work on the toxic former Ravenscraig Hospital social housing site to be halted amid an ongoing criminal investigation has been ignored.

Developer Link Group Ltd — set to receive £15.3m of public money for building on the land it bought for a pound — is pressing ahead with plans to erect 198 homes on the polluted plot.

The decision comes despite an appeal by MSP Stuart McMillan for work to be stopped while a Police Scotland Economic Crime Unit probe remains live.

Mr McMillan recently declared that he had 'lost confidence' in the development.

He has ruled out calling for a public inquiry into the matter - or asking the Scottish Government to 'call in' the planning application for review.

Mr McMillan said that the now eight-month long police inquiry, coupled with the 'mess' of a last-minute pedestrian crossing, had caused him to lose faith in the project.

Mr McMillan — responding to a specific question from the Telegraph about the possibility of a public inquiry or the government stepping in — said: "Police Scotland have been involved for some time and I would hope they can conclude their work and then the relevant actions take place accordingly, whatever they may be.

"I don't believe it's appropriate for any politician to interfere with or be seen to interfere with Police Scotland activities and it's therefore correct to let them fulfil their duties."

After it became clear that Link Group are intent on continuing with work at the sprawling 83-acre site, Mr McMillan said: "I have had constructive discussions with both senior Inverclyde Council and Link officials.

"They were disappointed in my comments, however, I felt that due to the substantial contact I have had with constituents regarding this matter, and the fact that the police investigation is still very much ongoing, it was best for all parties that no further work took place until the police had made their findings public.

"Ultimately however, I have no power to stop the development from proceeding."

Mr McMillan added: "People may then ask why I issued comments in the first place.

"As the local MSP, people ask me my views on matters of importance whether I have direct involvement or not.

"If I don't comment I can be accused of staying silent and not speaking up for constituents. If I speak up, I can be challenged for commenting on something I have no involvement in.

"As your local MSP, I can try and use the influence I was given by the people of Greenock and Inverclyde when they elected me.

"That led me to calling on Link and Inverclyde Council to halt the project. They haven't done so.

"However, if the Police Scotland report does find any instances of criminality, I will write to housing minister Kevin Stewart asking to meet to discuss the matter.

"I want the continued investment in our social and affordable housing stock in Inverclyde but this cannot be at any cost and must be above reproach."

We revealed in September that specialist detectives have sought advice from world renowned scientist Professor Andrew Watterson regarding confirmed 'multiple exceedances' of potential killer chemicals on the Ravenscraig estate.

Professor Watterson last year debunked an untrue claim by Link Group that the contaminants were 'not leachable, or soluble and will not migrate horizontally'.

Meanwhile, a planned pedestrian crossing with a 'refuge island' in the middle of the busy A78 trunk road — essential for the development to proceed — has been moved to a location previously deemed dangerous by Link's own engineers, WYG.

Link bought the site for £1 in a so-called 'back-to-back' deal involving former owner NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and the Scottish Government's More Homes Division in March 2017.

Just months earlier the district valuer estimated the worth of the land to be £850,000.

Link decided in July not to respond to any further queries from the Telegraph.

Police Scotland confirmed yesterday that its Ravenscraig investigation remains live.

The Scottish Government says the land transfer was conducted 'in accordance with all due process'.