ARBROATH will be watching with interest as a planning application for a filling station at Asda Westway was approved this week.
Permission has been granted subject to conditions for an unmanned, two-pump filling station in the southern corner of the Asda car park. It will be the first unmanned station in Angus. Colin McIntosh, proprietor of the Shell filling station on Cairnie Road is concerned this may have a negative effect on employment. He said: “I’ve no problem with Asda opening a filling station. It’s bad in terms of jobs in the future. It’s the first of its kind in the area, and a lot of people could potentially lose their jobs.”
The main problem for retailers like Mr McIntosh are their higher operating costs for things like power, rent and of course, wages. He added: “It is an age-related product, we have to be on site to authorise every sale.”
Once the precedent has been set, local retailers could follow the Asda example in a bid to reduce costs to be competitive.
Mr McIntosh added: “It’s not something I’d like to do, but if it’s something I have to do to be competitive against a national company then it will be seriously considered.”
A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The planning application by Asda for a filling station at the Westway, Arbroath has been approved subject to a condition relating to commencement of development. However, there are a number of other statutory consents and licences which are required before a filling station can be built at that site.”