DEFENCE company BAE Systems wants to delay a key part of its plans to develop a new town on the site of a historic explosives factory.
The company is currently in the process of transforming the massive former Royal Ordinance factory site at Bishopton in Renfrewshire.
Its long-term plan aims to see 2500 homes built in an ambitious project which is supposed to run until 2027.
Work is already well under way clearing the main site.
Hundreds of trees have been felled and former explosives manufacturing facilities demolished.
But as part of the planning consent the company gained in 2006, it is required to build a new junction linking the development with the M8 before it sells the first 451 houses of the new scheme.
The Evening Times has learned the company has now asked Renfrewshire Council to allow it to delay that part of the deal until 200 more houses are built and sold.
That is despite the fact planners said building the junction with the M8 before 451 houses were occupied was a matter of "safety" on the local road network.
A campaign group fighting the development, Bishopton Action Group, claim it's an example of "system creep," suggesting BAE are worried about their long-term ability to complete their plan.
However, the firm insists it is pressing ahead with its plans and points to the fact it has already started work to create new road layouts on the northern outskirts of Bishopton.
Lynda Johnstone, Bishopton Project Director at BAE Systems, said: "We are fully committed to delivering this development, which has been granted full consent and to continuing to engage with the community as we move forward.
"In addition to our plans to provide 2500 houses, we are looking to introduce a new primary school, a library, community centre, health centre and a woodland park.
"We understand the concerns relating to traffic and reiterate that a comprehensive investigation into traffic levels was outlined in the application and identified anticipated increases for the development as a whole.
"We are constructing two new access roads into and out of the development, which will not take traffic through Bishopton and the proposed new junction off the M8 will also bypass the town centre.
"The timescales for when this junction is introduced will not result in any increases over and above those already identified.
"This is an exciting, long-term development which over the next 15 years, will deliver a wide range of benefits for those both moving to the area and current residents and businesses."
A spokesman for Bishopton Action Group, said: "This is what we call system creep. It doesn't surprise us in the slightest.
"This is a question of them being able to finance the development in the future.
"Obviously to extend the junction it's going to cost them a lot of money, and they want to defer that as long as possible.
"As a campaign group we anticipated that this would happen.
THERE is a concern about the impact that the development will have on traffic.
"There's also concern about whether they will provide a new health centre for all the extra houses.
"They are only going to build it if someone else, the NHS, pays for it.
"Also, if they build the health centre in the new part of the village, most of the elderly residents who will use it most are the existing residents, in the old village, and so will have a way to go to reach the health centre.
"The only thing they are committed to is building a new primary school.
"We suspect that they are only going to build 'x' number of houses within the number that they must build before building everything else for the community's benefit."
BAE Systems has submitted what it says is a "proposal to engage and communicate an amendment to the consented planning application", which will change the point at which the new motorway junction will be open for use.
As part of the process, a public exhibition will take place on Friday June 29 at the Gatehouse in Bishopton.
The company added in a statement: "We would like to invite residents and businesses to come along."
The Evening Times understands three housebuilding firms are expected to be involved in the first phase of construction.
MORE than half of lunches eaten by Glasgow pupils outside school exceed recommended fat levels, a study suggests.
Researchers tested 45 take-away lunches eaten by pupils from five secondary schools in the city.
More than half exceeded recommended fat and saturated fat levels, and more than a third had too much salt.
A study by Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) and Glasgow City Council highlighted the "very poor" nutritional quality of takeaway food in comparison to lunches available in schools.
Fiona Crawford, of GCPH, who led the research said: "Sampling officers purchased 45 pre-agreed items and conducted nutritional analysis of each to compare the quality of key nutrients with Scottish nutrient standards for school lunches.
"Given the fact that a number of pupils also bought sugared drinks, crisps, and confectionery, it is likely that their lunchtime energy, fat and salt consumption will be even greater than that revealed by the nutritional analysis."