PLANS for a new Co-op supermarket in Wemyss Bay look set to progress after for planning officials gave the development the green light.

Inverclyde Council planners are recommending approval for the development on the site of the former Wemyss Bay Hotel.

Developers SAPP Property applied in June for permission to demolish the crumbling Greenock Road building, replacing it with a 371 square metre, single storey, shop and storage facility.

There would also be a car park with 20 spaces, including two disabled bays, and a new pedestrian crossing.

Plans for a neighbouring, smaller unit to house a cafe, restaurant, takeaway or another retail business have been dropped.

Four members of the public objected to the supermarket - although one has since been withdrawn after the proposal for a second building was removed - while three people are in support.

The proposed supermarket is in conflict with council rules - but officials say it should be given the go-ahead.

Stuart Jamieson, head of planning and regeneration, said: “The proposal is not supported by the local development plan in that it provides for local shopping facilities outwith a designated centre and has a gross floorspace over 250 square metres.

“However, the proposed development is intended to provide a small, local supermarket within the catchment of the settlements of Wemyss Bay and Skelmorlie and I am satisfied that there are no sequentially preferable sites for such a development.

“The applicant further identifies there is a significant gap between available convenience expenditure within the catchment area and the ability of local shops to service a reasonable proportion of that expenditure.”

Mr Jamieson added that the development would not have an adverse impact on existing nearby shops at Kip Park and Ardgowan Road as they have a ‘well-defined and established function in providing a range of services’, said that the proposed design of the building is acceptable and that the application meets road safety criteria.

He said: “This leads on balance to concluding that the proposal, overall, complies with the Inverclyde local development plan.”

Councillors on the planning board will have the final say at a meeting in the Municipal Buildings, Greenock, on Wednesday at 3pm.