Helensburgh’s new Waitrose supermarket could start taking shape before Christmas as planning officers and developers work on the final details of the development.
Argyll and Bute Council staff are liaising closely with Drum Development Company (Helensburgh) Ltd to conclude legal planning issues. A building warrant for the store, on the town’s Cardross Road, is likely to be submitted in the next few weeks.
Part of the planning consent involves a £880,000 contribution from Drum Development towards local projects. This will be used to improve the physical appearance of Helensburgh town centre – for example, shop frontage improvements. Financial assistance will also be available for businesses that wish to relocate to remaining commercial sites identified at the eastern entrance to the town. This may include assistance with set-up, infrastructure or premises costs.
The remainder of the money will be committed to improving car parking and accessibility in the town centre, tree planting and creating an attractive aspect to the entrance to the town around the Waitrose store.
The £880,000 contribution has been legally agreed in terms of planning matters which relate to impact on the town centre, loss of business land and loss of Open Space Protection Area (OSPA). Representatives from Business Gateway, CHORD and Argyll and Bute Council’s planning and roads officers have formed a team to oversee delivery of the contribution and the associated projects.
Details of financial assistance will be well publicised when the process for accessing funds has been established. In particular, the council is looking to draw up an inclusive process for delivering shop front improvements that will assist local traders and improve the overall environment of the town centre.
The majority of the money, including the funds for shop front improvement will be received from Drum Development seven days prior to the Waitrose store opening, estimated to be late 2013.