A NEW shop could soon be set to open in Stevenston after a provisional premises licence was granted.

Approval of the application was granted to Chris McMail from Microtech Business Intelligence during a recent meeting of North Ayrshire Council's licencing committee.

The licence refers to 'Unit 2A' at the Grange Business Centre in Stevenston - located on the corner of Glebe Street and Boglemart Street.

Following approval, the unit can now be converted or constructed for use as a licenced premises, selling alcohol from 10am to 10pm.

The unit has previously housed licenced premises - such as Bargain Booze - as well as a number of retailers however has been out of use in more recent times.

This was the third time that an application for a provisional premises licence (PPL) has been submitted for the property.

The previous occasions were back in 2021, and both applications made by Mr Muhammad Anees were refused. At the time, the reason for this was on the basis of the board's 'Overprovision Policy' - with it considered there were already ample licenced stores in the area.

Mr McMail managed to gain approval - despite concerns that the unit is directly below an alcohol treatment centre.

Turning Point Scotland has an office in the same building as the proposed shop - and had objected to the proposal having done the same to the latter of the two previous applications for the premises.

However Mr McMail, who also owns the unit rented by Turning Point, managed to come to an agreement with the objectors.

At the licencing board meeting, he highlighted the benefits that the business could bring to Stevenston, and assured Turning Point that steps would be taken to avoid any nuisance.

Mr McMail said: “This shows our commitment to Ayrshire, bringing this retail unit back into operation  would bring additional jobs. We insist staff go on licence training courses and are aware of our obligations.

“Turning Point are a tenant of ours and we would work with them to minimise any concerns.

“We will ensure minimal alcohol advertising on the premises and will sit down with Turning Point. I am happy to promote some posters and literature [of] their work.”

After hearing this, Gary Douglas from Turning Point (Scotland), commented: “Regardless of the decision, we urge you to open the shop and go ahead with or without an alcohol licence. Chris has been a great advocate of Turning Point Scotland.

“I have concerns about the location of the shop but Chris has said there will be no advertising of alcohol.

“We urge people to swap standard alcohol for a wide range of non-alcoholic alternatives. If you were to recommend these,  we would send our clients in.

“We want you to follow healthy choices, the community would support you and we would urge other businesses to support you.

“We offer and encourage harm reduction interventions to people to take alcohol. We urge people to swap standard alcohol for a wide range of non-alcoholic alternatives.”

The licence was then granted and will remain in place for a period of four years.

Councillor Nairn McDonald added:  “It’s welcome to have new employment, especially in Stevenston, where there has been a higher rate of unemployment than some.”