Supermarket booze bid

SOME SOUTHSIDE supermarkets seeking more space to sell alcohol in-store are among 13 refused permission.

Glasgow city council has denied Tesco (Shawlands), Morrison's (Newlands) Sainsbury (Darnley), and Asda in Toryglen.

GCC's decision is seen as the most significant action since powerful legislation last September from Holyrood, restricting marketing and promotion of alcohol,

A board spokesman explained that the applications turned down were inconsistent with the authority's policy of "protecting and improving public health" (one of five objectives behind the new legislation).

GCC is the first in Scotland to take the approach on such a scale, but the supermarkets —some of the country's wealthiest corporations — will probably appeal.

Gavin Partington of the wine and spirits trade association, dismissed the decisions as "wrong", adding that they "show how licensing laws are being misinterpreted.

"Crucially, these decisions will not curb problem drinking in the city, which is more likely to be addressed through tough enforcement of existing laws, rather than creation of new ones".

A Scottish retail consortium spokesman added: "Smaller alcohol display areas will not tackle problem drinking but will mean less choice and convenience for ordinary shoppers".

Holyrood says it is up to licensing authorities to judge each application on its merits in line with boards' policy statements.

These objectives are to prevent crime, disorder and public nuisance, secure public safety, protect children from harm and secure and improve public health.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury plans convenience stores in Giffnock and Victoria Park this autumn to extend its Muirend and Darnley supermarket operation.

The Giffnock branch will occupy the former Olympian Pine shop on Fenwick Road while the Victoria Road shop will take over vacant premises near Queen's park station.

Although 30 full and part-time jobs are promised, Giffnock community council's planning representative Enid Penny (79) "wishes it had been on the old Morrison's site".

She told The Extra: "We have a perfectly good space lying vacant which has become a blight.

"That site also has parking on the roof. Adding another shop without a place for cars to go will add to the already-terrible parking situation".

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