Plans to open three new stores at Braehead have been shelved amid fears they could harm Renfrewshire's town centres.

Members of Renfrewshire Council's communities, housing and planning board rejected the move, which would have seen further development at the retail site.

Independent councillor Andy Doig, who led efforts to snub the proposals, said the application was contrary to the local authority's commitment to prioritise the economic development of towns such as Johnstone.

Councillor Doig, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, told The Gazette: "Planning decisions are always taken on a non party-political basis, so I was delighted to be able to lead a united front of town centre councillors from Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone.

"Braehead is a key player in the Renfrewshire economy but a majority of the board simply did not see as credible their claim that the three retail units would not have a detrimental impact on the business sector in Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone.

"To have approved the expansion of Braehead, where there is free parking, at the same time as the council is proposing ill-judged plans to introduce car parking charges in Johnstone and Renfrew would be a toxic double-whammy which would have damaged our town centres.

"Braehead is a big commercial interest and we want them to stay here and thrive. We want investment but we want it in the right places – and that has to be our five town centres."

A council spokesman said: "Renfrewshire's Local Development Plan recognises the important role Braehead plays in the economic development of the area.

"It is one of a network of centres which includes Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone, as well as village centres.

"The decision taken by the communities, housing and planning policy board can be appealed to Scottish Government ministers and this is a matter for the owners of Braehead to consider.

"The council remains committed to the regeneration of Renfrew riverside and will continue to target investment in all our centres."

Peter Beagley, regional centre director with responsibility for intu Braehead, said he is "disappointed" by the planning board's decision.

He added: "We believe it is a missed opportunity to create new jobs for local people, bring investment into the area and give more choice for our customers.

"Renfrewshire Council's planning department carried out a detailed examination of our proposal and, having reached the conclusion that it is line with both the Strategic Development Plan and Renfrewshire Council's own Local Development Plan, had recommended approval.

"We will now review the decision in detail and consider our next steps."