The new Waitrose supermarket in Helensburgh could begin to take shape before Christmas, it was announced today (Wednesday).
Argyll and Bute Council said its planners were working on final details with developers Drum Development Company (Helensburgh) Ltd to conclude legal planning issues.
A building warrant for the store on 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 projects including shop frontage improvements in the town centre.
Financial assistance will also be available for businesses moving to remaining commercial sitesat the eastern entrance to the town.
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 council says the payments have 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,” said a spokesperson.
“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 before the Waitrose store opening, estimated to be late 2013.