A DECISION on the fate of Helensburgh's controversial waterfront development plans is expected later this month after a date and venue were confirmed now confirmed for a public hearing on the proposals.

Monday, November 19 is the date for a special pre-determination hearing by Argyll and Bute Council’s planning, protective services and licensing (PPSL) committee.

The meeting will take place in the main hall of the Victoria Halls at 10.30am, and all those with a say one way or the other are urged to attend or make their views heard by alternative methods.

The new leisure centre is recommended for approval following a hearing by council planning officer David Moore. It was confirmed last month that the PPSL committee would hold a public hearing.

Councillor Ellen Morton, who chairs the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, said: “Get in with your views. It is only two weeks away – I’m actually astonished that it’s been set as quickly and is before Christmas because they are so busy.

“But I am delighted it’s come in. Whether you object to or support it, this is a major important development, so get your views put in by letter or email.”

The process may be about to reach its conclusion, but has not been without its share of debate on both sides.

This week, a total of 118 objections had been received through the council’s website, all bar one from local addresses.

A total of 74 supportive representations, from all over Scotland, have also been received.

Norman Muir, convener of Helensburgh Community Council, which has lodged an official objection to the application, said: “If anybody feels strongly enough, either for or against, they should come along.

“It is the last exercise in public democracy we will get on this particular matter and once they make a decision, that is it.

“I think that local people should also turn up and hear the plans. It will give people an insight into local democracy and might allay some of the thoughts that it makes no difference if you don’t say anything.”