A KEY stage has been reached in the setting of a new local planning blueprint for Inverclyde.

Council chiefs say that the newly-published document identifies land for over 5,000 new homes and sets out space for new industrial and business developments.

It has been produced following a period of consultation with residents and 'stakeholders'.

A new local development plan had to be drawn up after an entire chapter of the previous document was rejected by the Court of Session last July, after housebuilders challenged the council over the supply of land and targets for new homes.

The court ruled that the council's policy within the homes and communities section of its LDP was 'materially flawed' under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Municipal Buildings bosses say publication of the new document is an important point in the process as it 'represents the local authority’s settled view as to what the final adopted content should be'.

But those with an interest can still make make their views known, setting out any modifications they would like to be see.

Submissions will be accepted up until July 9.

Councillor Michael McCormick, convener of environment and regeneration, said: “This is an important stage in the preparation of the new local development plan as it represents what the council believes the finalised plan should look like.

“The plan identifies land for over 5,000 new houses and over 30 hectares for new industrial and business development.

“It seeks to protect our town and local centres by directing appropriate new development to those locations.

“The plan also seeks to protect Inverclyde’s historic and natural environment.

“The aim of the plan is to deliver an Inverclyde that is an attractive and inclusive place to live, work, study, visit and invest and it does this through encouraging investment and new development to create a sustainable, successful place, so it’s in all our interests to make sure we get it right."

The proposed plan is available to view on the council website at www.inverclyde.gov.uk/newldp and responses can be submitted by email to ldp@inverclyde.gov.uk or by completing the representation form or e-form available online.

Postal submissions can be sent to Planning Policy, Regeneration & Planning, Municipal Buildings, Clyde Square, Greenock, PA15 1LY.

To discuss the proposed plan, contact a member of the council’s planning policy team on 01475 712491.