WORK on the first 600 homes to be built on the site of a former weapons factory will begin in September after the contracts were awarded to three building firms.
BAE Systems, which owns the Royal Ordnance Factory site at Bishopton, Renfrewshire, has been preparing the ground for 2500 new homes since 1999.
The site was used for making weapons for the Ministry Of Defence for most of the last century and BAE has spent £32million making the land safe.
BAE Systems has chosen Taylor Wimpey, Cala and Persimmon to work on the first phase, which will see them construct two, three, four and five-bedroom homes.
But it has also been revealed the developer wants to build a "major new food store" the size of a football pitch as part of the deal. There are concerns the 6000 sq metre store could have a negative impact on existing businesses in the area.
As yet no planning application for the retail space has been submitted to Renfrewshire Council.
Lynda Johnstone, Bishopton project director for BAE Systems, said: "We look forward to meeting and talking to interested parties at a public exhibition next month, where we will present our draft proposal for the scheme.
"We believe a number of benefits will be delivered, including creating jobs and investment in the area.
"This element of the project has always been part of the wider plan. No final scheme or design has been agreed."
The remaining 1900 homes are expected to be built in phases over the next 15 years.
Alongside the housing development there are plans to include a primary school, library, community centre, leisure facilities and woodland park.
It is expected the project will create about 4000 full and part-time jobs through the construction phases and operation of the planned businesses.