A bid to build a new Lidl store in Irvine has been rejected by North Ayrshire planning chiefs.

The application to build the the discount supermarket near the Stanecastle Roundabout at North Newmoor industrial estate was refused this week despite strong community support and promises of 40 new jobs.

Lidl have since confirmed they are set to appeal the council's desicion.

North Ayrshire's planning department's decision notice states Lidl 'had 'not demonstrated a town centre first approach as required' and that it would 'set an undesirable precedent'.

It said: "The proposed site is not suitable for a large retail development as it would compete with the town centre and there are preferable sites available in, or close to the town centre.

"It would be neither distinctive in respect of scale, street, building form and material and does not create a place with a sense of identity nor in-keeping with the predominantly residential character of the surrounding area.

"The application would be for an out-of-centre retail development, encouraging car use, which would not take into account the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change with regard to the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

"The proposed development would set an undesirable precedent for the development of unjustified out-of-centre retail developments within North Ayrshire, which would undermine the town centre first policies of both North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government."

This comes after a bid to have councillors decide the application was voted down last month

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.

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

Gordon Rafferty, Head of Property - Scotland, Lidl GB, said: “We are extremely disappointed that Planning Officials at North Ayrshire Council have refused our application. We fully believe and have expert Opinion confirming that our application is fully in accordance with Council Policy and that we have properly addressed any concerns raised during the application. The Policy arguments are very technical in nature and unfortunately we are unable to agree on one point.

"We will continue however to try to justify our reasoning. There are no other suitable or available sites
in the town or at Montgomery Park for our business model.

“We remain committed to the site at Stanecastle Roundabout and will now exercise our right ofappeal to the Council’s Local Review Body. Our proposals represent a huge commitment to Irvine in
difficult times providing much need jobs and Investment.”

Jackie Frew, Irvine Community Council, said: “We are extremely sad and disappointed that North Ayrshire Council have disregarded the views of the community council and the overwhelming level of support from the local community by refusing Lidl’s application at Stanecastle Roundabout.

"The store is in the perfect location and we are completely at odds as to why this decision has been made. There seems to be a growing disconnect between Council Officials’ decision-making and what the local community wants. We now hope that councillors will overturn the decision.”

John Taylor, Lidl Action Group, Said: “We will continue to do everything in our power to bring Lidl to Stanecastle. We believe it would give us a supermarket in a convenient location, close to neighbourhoods whose retail needs aren’t being met.

“Stanecastle Roundabout is well connected with public transport with three buses that pass over Manson Drive frequently. Lidl have also committed to upgrading the nearby footpath which will also improve accessibility for local pedestrians travelling to and from the store.

“Our friends and neighbours across Irvine know that there is an immediate need for this store in this location.”