Several shipping containers could soon be serving shoppers in Saltcoats – despite concern from community councillors the plan could damage the character of the town.

A planning application to site five modified shipping containers for retail and hot food units in the town’s Dockhead Street were submitted to planning chiefs last month.

The plans would include the erection of a glazed overhead canopy, with examples of the idea being used down in London included in the plans.

North Ayrshire Council’s Environmental Health department made no objections - providing the hot food units must be capable of operating without causing nuisance to neighbouring properties.

However Saltcoats Community Council expressed concern over the new retail concept, citing empty units in the high street and fears they could “detrimentally change the character of our town”.

The chair said: “The town centre already has a number of vacant shops, in the vicinity of the proposed planning location. Collectively, we see no benefit to introduce more retail units to the town when there is already so many vacant premises.

“The applicant also wishes to offer hot food and we can see the potential damage to trade for existing food retailers within the town.

“We also think that this proposal to erect a glass canopy containing shipping containers outside a Grade C listed building would detrimentally change the character of our town.”