NO formal offers have yet been made for Helensburgh's waterfront development site, council officials have revealed.

The admission comes as Argyll and Bute bosses were urged to consider "less car-centric" plans for the town.

The plea came from the Scottish Greens in a leaflet distributed to local households this week.

They say the 'grey area' earmarked for retail development - formerly the site of the town's swimming pool - could be "a magnificent public leisure space".

The Greens also voiced concerns about the closure of the McColl's store in Churchill Square in January, and about the proposed Taylor Wimpey housing development on part of Helensburgh Golf Club's land.

The old swimming pool site was put on the market in January, with expressions of interest invited through surveyors Avison Young. 

No closing date has been set for expressions of interest in developing the site, or for formal offers to take it on.

The Scottish Greens gained their first ever seat on Argyll and Bute Council in the May 2022 election, when Luna Martin was elected in the Oban North and Lorn ward.

In the leaflet, they said: “Recent events illustrate the need and community support for less car-centric planning in Helensburgh.

“As a result of Morrisons taking over McColl’s, the store/post office on the Churchill estate has closed. The ex-military estate is a poorly served part of Helensburgh.

“McColl’s is the only shop near the estate. The Post Office is an important local service, and the only source of free cash and electricity recharges nearby. More than 1,600 people signed a petition.

“There is local concern about the Helensburgh Waterfront site created by the demolition of the old swimming pool.

“Argyll and Bute Council has asked for ‘expressions of interest’ in the sale or lease of this iconic public space for a large retail development, without involving the local community.

“There is evidence that this proposal would adversely affect Helensburgh independent retail – there are already empty shops.

“It would reduce the parking available for the leisure centre. The site could be a magnificent public leisure space.”

The leaflet also said: “The Taylor Wimpey proposal for housing development on the golf course has generated many objections.

"They intend to build nearly 400 homes on this site, which involves moving and expanding the golf course, in part on to ancient peatland.

“The development includes spaces for more than 700 cars, but no proposals for enhanced services – schools, doctors, shops, public transport, growing spaces. The only shop within walking distance is the (now closed) McColl’s.

“Local people need local shops, not glossy new retail. They need better public transport and local amenities, and they need to be involved from the beginning in planning for people before cars.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “We are committed to major regeneration across Argyll and Bute to help create jobs, deliver new homes and attract investment to the area.

“We are currently inviting expressions of interest for all options to deliver new development at the waterfront.

"The aim is to complement the existing town centre offering and new leisure centre, recently shortlisted for a national planning award.

“As part of our ongoing work to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, climate friendly travel options are a key consideration of the development.

"This includes expanding our current electric vehicle charging points and active travel routes in and around Helensburgh.

“There is no decision on what this will look like just yet as we have not received any formal offers at this stage.

"When appropriate, we will hold a public consultation and engage with all interested parties.”

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey and Helensburgh Golf Club said: “Our planning application is currently being considered by Argyll and Bute Council and we welcome engagement from all statutory consultees and local political groups, ahead of its determination.

“We would like to reassure the local community that the comments raised are reviewed by our team of external experts as part of the planning process. We fully appreciate the level of detail that has been considered by all consultees and local political groups, of this submission to the council.”