PLANS to demolish the former McPherson Centre in Gourock for housing have won favour with council officials despite local opposition.

Inverclyde Council's planning board will be asked next week to consider Titan Homes' bid to build 22 new semi-detached homes on the site after purchasing the common good land last year.

The McPherson Centre, for adults with severe learning disabilities, was closed down three years ago as it merged with the Fitzgerald Centre in Greenock.

The Tele reported last year the land had been sold off by the council to housebuilders Titan for £375,000.

Members of the public have raised a number of objections about the plans.

Those lodged include opposition to the loss of a building left to the people of Gourock and loss of trees and wider open space, while concerns were also raised about the development bringing an increase in traffic to an already busy area.

But planning officials say the application should be approved.

A report notes that the building is vacant, 'affected by vandalism and the site has become overgrown'.

Planning officials added: “The McPherson Centre is not a listed building nor is it located within a conservation area.

"Accordingly, the demolition of this building does not alone warrant the refusal of planning permission.

“The public benefits in seeking to support new residential development in order to meet Inverclyde’s housing needs outweigh the loss of the unprotected trees on this site and compensatory planting of trees of a suitable native species and appropriate for a residential setting can be provided as part of the landscaping scheme for the development.”

Ten of the new dwellings will front onto Tower Drive with the remainder accessed looking on to a new road created from McPherson Drive.

Councillors will decide on the development at a meeting due to be held next week.