A DISCOUNT supermarket giant is in a stand off with council officers – with plans to build a new Lidl near the Stanecastle Roundabout now in doubt due to planning chiefs wanting it sited elsewhere.

Council officers want the store to be built at its Montgomery Park site – while Lidl told the Times if they can’t build the Irvine store at Stanecastle they won’t build one in the town at all.

This comes after a bid to have councillors decide the application was voted down last week despite mass community support.

Councillors John Easdale, Marie Burns and Donald L Reid submitted a call-in request to the planning committee asking that the application go in front of them stating strong community support, 40 new jobs and no other sites being suitable.

Irvine East Cllr Easdale said he understood a senior officer would object to siting the store at Crompton Way with officers wanting it built at Montgomerie Park.

Cllr  Robert Foster said it was not a “valid call-in” and proposed that the decision should stay with officers and not the committee.

Cllr Foster told the Times this was based on the reasons put forward not being material planning conditions and wanting to protect ‘local democracy’ and that Lidl had the right to appeal that decision to the local review body.

He added: “If the Lidl application is rejected by planning officials I expectitto be heard be councillors at the appeal stage, which is the correct and proper process.”

Lidl’s Scottish Head of Property Gordon Rafferty said: “We are disappointed.

“Our proposals represent a multi-million pound investment and will create up to 40 jobs. Every one will pay more than the National Living Wage and taken up largely by people local to the store. The application has attracted nearly 200 letters of support including key local stakeholders such as Irvine Community Council.

“We are aware the council recently commenced marketing of their mixed use site at Montgomerie Park. The economics of the site and the edge of town location make this a non-viable option for our business. If we are refused at Stanecastle then we will not be able to deliver a new store for Irvine.

“The council’s planning department have indicated previously that they will reject our Stanecastle application, now that the committee has returned it to them to conduct a full review we are hopeful that they find in favour of the application, in which case we would commence construction in Summer 2020.”