Proposals by supermarket giant Waitrose to build a store opposite Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh are to go to a public hearing in the new year.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee decided that the number of representations received made it appropriate to have a discretionary hearing.
Planners had recommended that the application be refused, and that a hearing be held.
Waitrose wants to build a supermarket and petrol station on Cardross Road on the outskirts of Helensburgh. The application has attracted 654 letters of support, 41 letters of objections and three letters of representations.
Councillor Daniel Kelly, chair of the PPSL committee, said the proposal had generated strong reactions both in favour and against.
“This is a controversial application which has attracted a large number of representations and raised a number of complex issues, many of which are critical to Helensburgh’s future sustainable economic development,” he added.
“Our planning team has recommended that the proposal be turned down for several reasons, not least that it would represent a departure from the local development plan.
“Given the interest in this application and the number of individuals and groups who have given us their views on it, it is appropriate that these people are given the chance to put their opinions directly to the committee.
“We will be holding a hearing in Helensburgh as early as possible in the new year. We will of course let the public know as soon as a date and venue is confirmed.”
As a separate issue, public consultation is currently underway on draft masterplans for two other sites in Helensburgh – the pier head and the former Hermitage Academy site. Once finalised, the documents will inform any future proposals for those key sites.