COUNCILLORS have agreed to sell a 'park and ride' car park in Clydebank to the Lidl supermarket chain – but not without a heated debate.

Members of the infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee at West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) voted in favour of selling the site to the south-east of the Kilbowie roundabout to the German-owned firm.

The authority's opposition Labour group put forward a motion to reject council officers' recommendation that the sale of the land be approved, citing concern about congestion in the vicinity of the already busy roundabout on the A82 and the possible impact on the Clyde Shopping Centre.

But in the end the committee backed the view that the site should be sold – a move which it's estimated will add at least £1 million to the council's coffers.

Clydebank Waterfront Labour councillor Gail Casey said: "It is frequently congested so I think it would be dangerous to site a supermarket with car parking in this location.

“You’ve got people meeting there to go hillwalking and parking their cars there and I have even seen tourist buses there.

READ MORE: Clydebank car park site sale could pave way for new Lidl store in town

“Members have received complaints about this from local residents. Lidl still have a site in Clydebank and there are other sites which wouldn’t cause as many problems – for example at the Play Drome.

“I believe a supermarket situated at that junction would cause hardship to our already dwindling Clyde shopping centre.

“We should stop them now while we can and don’t let them buy it.”

Members of the council's SNP administration agreed that the location was not without its problems, and said the council should encourage the developer to engage with the public about its plans.

The council's leader, Councillor Jonathan McColl, moved an amendment that the site sale be approved – but that any potential developer should make early contact with planning officials to look in detail at proposals for the site.

He said: “There are significant challenges with congestion and road safety at this site which will need to be resolved at the planning stage.

“Any developer must also have a good wide-ranging consultation with the local community before submitting a planning application.

READ MORE: Clydebank and Drumchapel feature on Lidl's 'wish list' for new UK supermarket sites

“We have had problems with Lidl in the past with their initial attempts of pre-application consultation – to me it seemed more like a survey to see what level of business they could expect, rather than consult with people about what they wanted.

“Hopefully lessons have been learned there.

"It is far too early to be rejecting this out of turn. We have to see what proposals come forward and an informed decision will be made.

“We do have the power to reject this, but as a responsible administration I believe we should make the decision once we have all the facts before us.

“I think we need to allow the developer and our officers to work together and present something to this committee and planning.”

Following the discussion, the majority of members agreed to the sale of land.

Updates will now have to be brought back before future IRED committees and a full planning application for the new supermarket will need to be made.

READ MORE: Catch up with all the latest news headlines from in and around Clydebank by clicking here