THE opening of the Marks and Spencers foodhall development in Largs is set to move a step close this week.

Pearson's Garage was vacated at the end of August, but there has been no work at the site after problems surfaced regarding people in nearby Townhead Close getting access to their homes.

However at a meeting of North Ayrshire Council's planning committee this week, a 'Stopping Up Order' for the close is set to be rubber-stamped, paving the way for construction to start on the new multi-million pound supermarket.

Russell McCutcheon, executive director at the council, said: "Planning permission was granted under delegated powers in May 2022 for the demolition of all existing buildings and structures on site for the development of the foodhall.

"The site contains the access from Main Street to Townhead Close, a small, adopted cul-de-sac containing three residential properties and the rear access to an additional residential property on Waterside Street. In total, the access for four properties will be affected by the development.

"The approved site plan for the foodstore will result in alterations to this access so that the close would be accessed through the car park of the foodstore, and therefore disconnected from the public road network.

"The parking management plan has not yet been submitted, however, it is expected that the customer car park would be controlled through licence plate recognition of cars entering and leaving the car park. The maximum stay would likely be 90 minutes.

"This scheme would apply during the opening hours of the food store.

"Residents of Townhead Close would be able to register to have their vehicles excluded from the scheme.

"Staff should not be permitted to park on site and a travel plan will need to encourage the use of non-car modes of travel.

"The stopping up of a road means that the road would no longer be adopted or form part of the public road network.

"In this instance, the lower section of Townhead Close would be removed and would be replaced by the car park for the approved foodstore.

"The upper section would be retained as private access, accessible through the car park of the foodstore."

A decision will be taken as to whether to approve the order at a meeting later today (Wednesday).

Pearson expanded their Wemyss Bay operation next to the A78 after exiting the Largs town centre showroom, while Stewart Associates architects company moved to open a new premises in Bath Street.

The 9,000sq ft Marks and Spencer Foodhall store will be built on Main Street and will stock over five thousand food and drink products.

North Ayrshire Council planning department finally gave permission for the store in May after eight months of deliberations. The retail giant has vowed to 'put local people first' as they prepare to create 50 new jobs - but say the new outlet won't open until 'early next summer'.