Council reaches verdict on residential development at former Balrossie House site

Fresh plans submitted for Balrossie House
Fresh plans submitted for Balrossie House

A MAJOR residential development including nearly 50 houses can now be built at the site of the former Balrossie House after councillors today approved fresh plans.

Developer Balrossie Homes Limited had requested that Inverclyde Council grant renewed permission to convert three listed buildings and build a total of 49 homes at the grounds of the Blacksholm Road site near Kilmacolm.

The site's developers want to build a total of 64 units on the land.

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The plans, which had been submitted as three separate planning applications, would see the property’s B-listed main building converted in apartments, with 49 new build homes and a new waste treatment plant being built on the grounds.

Greenock Telegraph: Fresh plans submitted for Balrossie House
Greenock Telegraph: Fresh plans submitted for Balrossie House

The proposals were previously given the go-ahead along with listed building consent back in 2018, but no work has taken place, meaning the permission has now lapsed.

The new approval paves for the way for the main building to be converted into 12 two/three-bedroom apartments, with three of its historic facades being retained.

The derelict structure has been repeatedly targeted by vandals and firestarters.

Work to adapt an annexe building on the site into two four-bedroom semi-detached ‘villas’ and convert a water tower into a three-bedroom house can also go ahead.

Documents submitted alongside the application detailed the crumbling state of the main building's interior, which has suffered significant deterioration from water ingress and the poor state of the roof.

On the rest of the site’s sprawling grounds, it is proposed that 49 homes are built, which will be a mixture of three, four and five bedroom detached and semi-detached properties.

A play area is to be located towards the centre of the site, near the existing water tower, and a new access road is to be formed off Balrossie Road, which leads up to the south side of Balrossie House.

A package waste water treatment plant is proposed for an area next to the new access road and is to be connected to the existing site drainage outfall.

The developers have submitted a programme of works which indicates that construction work on the site will take around 36 months, with sales of the properties continuing to take place for a further six months after the construction is completed.

Greenock Telegraph: Fresh plans submitted for Balrossie House
Greenock Telegraph: Fresh plans submitted for Balrossie House

Balrossie School originally opened in 1898 as a home for the orphaned children of sailors in 1898 before being converted into a residential school in the 60s.

It is hoped that the new development will finally breathe new life into the eyesore, which has lain derelict since the facility closed down in the late 1990s.

In their report on the application, council officers note the deterioration of the buildings since permission was last granted means that this may be the last opportunity to revamp the listed structures.