Several shipping containers will be serving shoppers in Saltcoats.

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

The application was approved this month despite concern from community councillors that it could damage the character of the town.

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, which is currently inactive but looking to start again, 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.”

NAC’s planning department said: “Concern regarding existing vacant shop premises in the town centre is acknowledged. However, it is considered that the proposal offers an opportunity for new/small business to occupy small (mostly 14 square metres), readily adaptable units in a “pop-up” or “start-up” capacity on under-utilised town centre land.”