Sainsbury’s says petrol bid ‘would be refused’

Sainsbury's car park.
Sainsbury's car park.

A plan to create a new petrol station beside Kirkintilloch’s Sainsburys store has been shelved after it hit planning difficulties.

But the firm insists the scheme hasn’t been abandoned, and that it’s now considering its options.

Local resident Penelope Sinclair said the original plan – to build on part of the supermarket car park – would have “blocked out all daylight” from homes overlooking the site.

Ms Sinclair has been a vocal opponent of the plan from the start, and has constantly argued the site Sainsbury wanted for its proposed petrol station would have been totally unsuitable.

Among other considerations a petrol station on the present car park area could have been argued to amount to a loss of visual amenity, in planning terms.

But noise and the smell of fumes from the fixture were also seen as potential problems.

Ms Sinclair says that “at the last minute” Sainsbury’s e-mailed the council’s planning department to withdraw the application, and that the firm is now aiming to build on the adjacent grass area instead.

She argues that this was suggested to the firm before, but that the idea was ignored.

The company’s official position is that the bid was withdrawn because the council was minded to refuse the application because of unspecified “design issues”.

Sainsbury’s spokesperson added:“We will be looking at our options going forward.”

Sainsbury argues there is strong support for a petrol station in the area, based on an exercise it carried out locally.

Of 78 questionnaires said to have been returned 85 per cent were in favour, says the firm, which said: “We were very encouraged by the level of support and enthusiasm from Kirkintilloch residents to our plans.”

However it’s unclear whether the relatively low number of returns would have helped Sainsbury’s gain permission for its now ditched car park plan.

The company had aimed to open a facility that would have sold only petrol and cigarettes.