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Planners Approve £3m Improvement Project

Planning officials have approved a multi-million pound project to re-align part of a major Inverclyde road. Regeneration company Riverside Inverclyde has been given permission to remove the steep sharp corner at the top of Baker's Brae, Greenock, giving the road a wider curve on to adjacent land.

Work will take place on Baker Street between Ingleston Street and Drumfrochar Road to improve sightlines, improve provision for pedestrians, provide landscaping, and replace the traffic light-controlled junction at Ingleston Street including re-timing the lights and lowering the kerbs. Demolition of industrial buildings at the east end of Drumfrochar Road is also part of the £3million scheme. Planning officials said the work should be welcomed as it would improve traffic flow and enhance the environment of the area.

Riverside Inverclyde hope to start work in November with the project due for completion in July 2018. The £1.8million community enterprise hub for small and medium-sized food and drink enterprises, micro businesses and business start-ups is also proposed for Baker Street.

Inverclyde Councillors have previously been told that the road layout at the moment "meets no design criteria whatsoever" with lorries having to cut across the carriageway as they go round the corner. A design document submitted with the road realignment application stated:

"The road corridor is a principal route in Greenock however investment and economic activity is limited by poor traffic flows, vacant and derelict buildings and overgrown wasteland. The works include the realignment of the carriageway at the brow of the hill in the vicinity of Dellingburn Street.

An existing stretch of Baker Street will be retained as access for business units. Inverclyde Council have acquired a number of sites adjacent to the core realignment area with a view to undertaking some demolitions and facilitating the scheme. It is intended that the scheme and its associated public realm investment will considerably enhance the entire area.

"The general aspect along this road is one of derelict run-down buildings, vacant and overgrown wasteland. Significant improvement of this approach into Drumfrochar Road is a principal objective of the project, to attempt to redress the poor impression of the area and create a tree-lined boulevard."

This article appeared on Inverclyde Now on 22 June 2017.