THE Co-op wants to build a large new convenience store in Gourock, to replace both the shops it currently has in the town.
A planning application has been submitted proposing to demolish the Fisher Trucks premises in Cardwell Road to create a site for the new development.
The Co-op say their existing stores in Shore Street and Cardwell Road are too small and “suffer from a variety of constraints”.
They have combined sales floorspace of just under 200 square metres.
The new shop would have a sales area of 460 square metres. The two storey-building would have storage accommodation on the upper floor.
Around 20 parking spaces would be provided.
Fisher Trucks have run a vehicle repair and hire operation from the Cardwell Road site for many years. The firm is understood to believe the time is right to downsize. It will continue trading and is looking for a new location.
A statement submitted to planners on behalf of the Co-op explains: “The Co-operative Group are committed to making a significant investment to provide a new larger foodstore in Gourock, improving on the quality of their existing stores and improving the convenience retail offer in the town.
“Customers expect supermarkets to provide an attractive shopping environment with suitable space, allowing them to undertake shopping trips efficiently and in relative comfort.
“The existing Co-op stores at Gourock do not allow for this and the Co-operative Group is therefore keen to meet customer expectations and demands in Gourock by providing a single better store with improved environment, retail offer and facilities.”
It continues: “The proposed new store will of sufficient size to stock a wider range of convenience items than either of the existing stores, including improved range and choice of fresh fruit and vegetables, together with fresh grocery items, frozen and convenience foods, tinned and dry goods, and beers wines and spirits.”
The document also states: “…the Co-operative Group own the premises at 40 Cardwell Road and while they will be vacating this property, it will represent an opportunity for a new entrant.
“Given the health of the local centre the Co-op is confident that they will secure an occupier/s for the store which they are vacating, creating the potential for the introduction of new retail or other appropriate use within the local centre.”
“The existing Co-op store at 97 Shore Street will close as part of the proposals, but this is unlikely to have any significant impact on the vibrancy, vitality or viability of Gourock town centre. The Co-op store is small and is in a part of Shore Street where there are two other convenience stores, together with a butcher and a baker.
The application is pending assessment by Inverclyde Council planners.