Project delayed

SNP councillor broke ethics code over housing plan

James and Sandy Easdale at the IBM site

An SNP councillor breached ethics rules by failing to declare that he lived close to a proposed £350 million housing development he was opposing, the watchdog has ruled.

Innes Nelson, who sits on Inverclyde council, used his position to gain preferential treatment and failed to declare an interest in the planning application, the ethical standards commissioner said.

The councillor, who was elected in 2017, objected to the construction of 450 homes on the site of the former IBM plant in Greenock on the A78. Mr Nelson’s home, Chrisswell Farm, was on the other side of the road.

The ruling said that Mr Nelson’s connection to the planning application was “so significant” that it would be “regarded as being likely to influence the discussion and the decision-making” at the planning meeting.

Property investors and developers Sandy and James Easdale said his objections contributed to a five year delay to the project.

Sandy Easdale said: “Councillor Nelson is a disgrace to his party, his town and the people of Greenock. He needs to quit or be kicked off the council.”

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