A VACANT building in Alexandria has been given the green light to be developed into a discount supermarket.

West Dunbartonshire Council has agreed on proposals for the food store, associated access, parking, and landscaping at Mitchell Way.

The site, formally a Citizens Advice Bureau, is made up of car parking and a vacant building which accommodated flats and a retail unit.

Included in the plans are 132 parking spaces, eight of which will be reserved for people with disabilities, two rapid electric vehicle spaces and four for staff parking.

The multi-million-pound investment will create around 40 jobs for the local economy.

Pedestrian access will be available along both Bank Street and Mitchell Way and cycle spaces are also proposed and will be provided within the car park.

The new plans will cut off Church Street from Bank Street for motorists. Instead, drivers would have to access the street via Main Street.

During the planning meeting at the council headquarters, it was revealed that there were four objections made to the plans.

These were from the Vale of Leven Trust, the local traders association, Alexandria Community Council and Bonhill and Dalmonach Community Council.

Speaking at the meeting earlier this week, Janice Ross of the Vale of Leven Trust, revealed she thought the developers didn't have the best interests of Alexandria in mind, and shared her worry about the long-term impact.

She said: "As with many others, we feel the proposals are not in the best interest. The location of this store is not in the town centre. This town is very much made of up small businesses, not of multi-nationals.

"The impact of closing Church Street from Bank Street means HGVs will only go in way onto Main Street and one way out. That impacts on our town because it brings all the HGVs through our town.

"The developers have to ensure that it is the right development that happens in the right place. It does not benefit the Vale of Leven or the nearby area. It benefits Lidl and I don't think it is good enough for our area."

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A representative from Bonhill and Dalmonach Community Council added: "The majority were actually in favour of the store being built, however, when we looked closely at the plans we realised that the stopping of Church Street was going to be an adverse effect on the Vale of Leven.

"We need to keep as many avenues of traffic open as possible, therefore we have no choice but to object."

Councillor Karen Conaghan questioned an error made over the time length allocated for car parks.

It originally stated in the proposals that the applicant set the time limit to two hours, but that has since been changed to a 90-minute stay instead.

She proposed delaying a decision so there could be further discussions.

A spokesperson for Lidl during the meeting said: "We bring valuable jobs to the community and are a good employer. We don't have zero-hour contracts and you don't have to shop in Lidl to benefit from the car park. 

"We submitted the application but we are aware there was an error. Through all of our conversations, it was agreed it was 90 minutes. I wish that two hours hadn't been there. It has always been a requirement for the store to have that time."

A recommendation was put forward to approve the plans by Councillor Lawrence O'Neill agreed by five members to two in favour of the motion to delay.