A controversial Tesco superstore has been given the green light despite fears that it will crush a local Co-op store.
The development proposed for Galston in East Ayrshire will see Tesco build a shop twice the size of the Co-op on vacant land on the outskirts of the town.
Councillors gave the nod to the plan, despite opposition from town planners and environment chiefs.
It will be open from 6am to midnight Monday to Saturday and from 8am to 8pm on Sunday.
At a council meeting, planning chief Alan Neish confirmed his department’s opposition to the plan, saying there was already over-provision of such facilities in East Ayrshire.
Mr Neish said there was also opposition because of the danger of flooding.
He feared the impact the Tesco store could have on existing businesses, but added that the northern local planning committee had approved the scheme at an earlier hearing.
The council’s head of legal services, David Mitchell, reminded councillors that their development plan provided them with a framework as to what was acceptable and what wasn’t.
He said: “It’s not there to be ignored lightly.”
But Councillor Alan Brown said Tesco’s proposal had several mitigating factors which were important enough for them to give it the thumbs up including creating employment, and a £370,000 donation to the council to help improve buildings in Galston town centre.
But Councillor Bobby McDill said he was very disappointed with the scale of the proposed building, adding: “A more modest store in the centre of the town would be the jackpot.
“We will be breaking various rules if we allow this. This Tesco store will have the effect of a super trawler.
“It will suck up all the fish and there will be nothing left for anyone else.”
Doug Wilson, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: “We are delighted by the decision of members of East Ayrshire Council to grant consent and give the go ahead to this significant investment.
“Not only will we bring 250 jobs to the area, but we have pledged £370,000 towards the upgrading of Galston town centre.”
Tesco insist that as part of the planning process they consulted with the council, local community and local traders. The new store will pump £4.5 million annually into the local economy.