PLANS are in the pipeline to bring a new Aldi supermarket to Johnstone.

It’s understood the popular retailer is being considered as an addition to the town’s shopping scene as part of a development at the former Paton’s Mill site.

Fourth Developments (Johnstone) Ltd aims to create a “showpiece” attraction in place of the dilapidated mill towers.

If it goes ahead as planned, it will deliver a cycleway, woodland areas, retail units, a pub, offices and possibly around 20 new homes.

Meanwhile, the remains of the former mill buildings, hit by two serious fires in 2010, are set to disappear completely.

A planning application indicates that one of the two retail units could be a new Aldi supermarket.

However, residents have mixed views about the new addition, with some calling for the development at the former mill to “respect the history of the site.”

Johnstone Business Consortium (JCC) chairman Allan Henderson said: “The business consortium has been trying to find out for months what exactly is going into the development.

“Then there’s suddenly an application for Aldi to possibly become one of the retail units without anyone contacting us.

“I think Fourth Developments know exactly who is going in but there is no communication with us – they really should sit down with us to discuss things properly.

“Personally, I would like to see affordable housing at the development so that people aren’t drawn away from the High Street.

“Having an Aldi will most likely affect some of the other nearby supermarkets too, which could put jobs at risk. You can only buy so much shopping – the place is being overrun with grocery outlets.

“In addition, departments within these shops sell everything which again will impact on small businesses in the town.”

The Gazette previously reported that, in honour of the site’s history, Fourth Developments had been asked to consider naming the pub The Tower Tavern.

Councillor Andy Doig, a candidate for the Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch ward in the upcoming council elections, had written to Fourth Developments about his proposals.

A spokeswoman for Fourth Developments said: “We are currently in dialogue with other stakeholders and working through processes for planning consent.

“It is still in the early stages of the process and, when there is more information, we will be sure to pass this on.”

No-one at Aldi was available for comment when contacted by the Gazette.