THE developer behind the massive Queens Quay project is warning councillors new design codes are years late – and could delay £55million in investment.

A scathing letter from the owners of the site, Clydeside Regeneration Limited (CRL) and the development’s managers, Dawn Developments Ltd, urges members of West Dunbartonshire Council’s (WDC) planning committee to rethink codes for the masterplan.

Paul O’Donnell, director of Dawn Developments and speaking on behalf of CRL, has told councillors that a planning application was expected to be submitted in April worth £55m.

And the entire site could be delayed for a year.

“This timeframe is now questionable in light of the design code process now suggested,” he writes.

Concerns include 50-60 per cent of the river frontage being for surface parking, supposedly to replicate former slipways of the shipyards.

But Mr O’Donnell states the regeneration is looking to the future, not the past, and is incompatible with the council’s own aspirations in its original masterplan.

Buildings adjacent to the river appear to have their side elevation facing it, in the design plans. It also shows buildings moved into the riverside park, despite being legally impossible because it’s enshrined as a public park.

Mr O’Donnell writes: “Glasgow is criticised for turning its back on the river. In my opinion, Clydebank would be criticised for turning its side to the river.”

There are further concerns that the new masterplan might not match the number of new homes outlined in the council’s own local development plan.

Read more: Council to agree guidance on new look of Queens Quay development

The letter states: “There are aspects of the codes that go beyond guidelines and we firmly believe compromise our ability to attract investment into Queens Quay, which I do not believe is the intended consequence of the codes or elected members.

“CRL and Dawn share the aspirations of West Dunbartonshire Council that Queens Quay should be occupied by development of the highest quality.

“The main concerns we have relate to the timescale associated with arriving at design codes and to those elements of the codes where they stray beyond providing a design framework and move into a new detailed master planning of the site.

“We are not asking that design codes be set aside. Instead we are advocating that the major issues raised, which relate to master planning, are addressed and thereafter incorporated into any consultation.

“It is also important we look at a way where investment can proceed whilst the process of design codes are taken forward. This in itself does have the capacity to delay the site for a year.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “If agreed following presentation to planning committee tomorrow, the design codes will then be the subject of a six week consultation period, during which both CRL and Dawn Developments can submit any further comments.”

WDC has also been blamed for a significant rise in costs for the site’s signature project: district heating.

We revealed last year the costs have gone up by £4.4m, a pricetag kept hidden in private meetings but public on council balance sheets.

Elsewhere, infrastructure works have been carried out at Queens Quay to ensure the land is ready for property developers to create accommodation.

The housing and communities committee heard the land should be ready by mid-March. Located on the former John Brown’s shipyard, the development aims to provide open access and views to the riverside.