A RUNDOWN football pitch is to be transformed into a £9.3million housing development.

Home Scotland housing ­association has been given permission to rip up the existing football pitch and terracing in Tinto Park in Govan, which is used by junior football club Benburb and build 71 homes for social renting.

The club will use the cash to build a new synthetic pitch and clubhouse on a kickabout space in neighbouring Craigton Park.

Richard Brown, the city council's executive director of development and regeneration, said the new housing will include two and three bedroom terraces, three bedroom semi-detached properties and two bedroom cottage flats all with their own gardens.

He added: "The new pitch will be let to Benburb FC long-term, however community access will be maintained.

"The club is keen to make the pitch available for both school use and amateur club use and integrate the ­facility into the local community.

"They are happy to build in a minimum of 20 hours community use per week into the lease.

"The proposed 3G pitch will replace an existing, poorly maintained and underutilised grass kick-about area and will have little impact on the natural environment."

Mr Brown said the discovery of Japanese knotweed on the site will result a large number of semi-mature, self seeded trees being felled.

He explained: "Given this is at the northern end of large areas of trees behind the Benburb terracing, large amounts of those trees will need to be removed as part of the on-site treatment removed.

"This will deal with the ­issue of an invasive species on site and will also reduce the risk of affecting existing housing if it was left unchecked."

It is hoped building work will start in March and take around two years to complete.

Stuart Dixon, Home Scotland head of development, said: "We're delighted we've gained planning permission to build 71 new homes in this area of Govan.

"This is a development which will bring much needed social housing to the area and also benefit Benburb FC and the wider community by providing the club with a brand new pitch and facilities.

"There is a shortage of affordable housing in the area and these properties will provide modern homes for people who are on local housing waiting lists.

"The planning approval follows a thorough public consultation process and we look forward to getting on site and building these much needed homes."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk