A BUSY petrol station in Fife has been provisionally granted a licence to sell alcohol – despite residents' concerns about an increase in underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Penny Petroleum (Scotland) Limited saw its application for the Garvock Filling Station on Halbeath Road, in Dunfermline, approved by members of Fife’s Licensing Board on Monday.

That was despite eight letters of objection raising concerns about the prospect of noise, litter and the over-provision of alcohol premises in the area.

Councillors agreed unanimously to grant the provisional premises licence after receiving assurances from the company's representative.

Nearby residents Tom and Liz Pettigrew, who have lived in the area since the mid-1970s, said the presence of the West Fife Way, the Fife Pilgrim Way and a national cycle route in the area meant it was frequented by people of all ages, going on to express concerns about alcohol misuse and the prospect of broken bottles along the route. 

“We don’t want people taking alcohol that they’ve bought onto that space and into the swing parks nearby to consume and do who knows what with the containers,” Mr Pettigrew argued.

“We think this would encourage open-air drinking, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour, and we want it stopped.

“There is no need for another outlet and I doubt if there’s any demand for it.”

The objectors also suggested the petrol station should be treated as an excluded premises as there were other supermarkets nearby that served the community.

Solicitor Caroline Loudon, acting on behalf of the applicants, confirmed that the petrol station was due to undergo a rebrand and refit – from a Londis to a Spar – and pointed to evidence that it was used by many people as their principal source of fuel or groceries which would mean it was not an excluded premises.

In response to concerns about alcohol misuse, Ms Loudon also noted there were no objections from Police Scotland or Fife Council’s licensing standards officers, and that Penny Petroleum had only ever had one failed test purchase of alcohol in relation to underage drinking – and that was down in England in 2016.

“My client runs an extremely well-presented and organised petrol station, and littering is dealt with very quickly,” she added.

A motion to approve by Councillor Andy Heer was seconded by Councillor Alistair Cameron and the licence was therefore granted.