Dundee councillor objects to more alcohol being sold in Hilltown Tesco store

The Hilltown Tesco.
The Hilltown Tesco.

A councillor has blasted the local authority’s alcohol overprovision policy.

Ken Lynn hit out after he was forced to withdraw his opposition to Tesco selling more alcohol at its Strathmartine Road shop.

The chain had approached the city licensing board asking to reduce its alcohol offering at one store so it could increase it at two others.

Its bid to sacrifice a proportion of licensed shelving space from its Murraygate store and boost its offerings at its Strathmartine Road and Hawkhill stores was approved.

However, Mr Lynn – who sits on the city’s health and social care partnership – had attempted to oppose the Hilltown move.

He argued that the overprovision policy, which aims to reduce public harm, was flawed if Tesco could push such applications through.

The policy was approved at a meeting in June 2017 at which Mr Lynn was not present.

He said: “That part of the Hilltown is an area where greater problems are experienced with alcohol than other parts of the city.

“The display area is being reduced in an area that is not deprived and being increased in an area which is.

“I don’t want to see availability increase at the top of the Hilltown.”

Council licensing solicitor Brian Woodcock explained the overprovision policy covers the “entire city”, rather than specific areas.

Mr Lynn added: “I have a specific reason for opposing it in that area but I suppose that is not compatible so I guess I will have to withdraw.”

Dr Emma Fletcher, a public health consultant with NHS Tayside, also tried to oppose the move.

But Peter Lawson, representing Tesco, said the move would allow the supermarket to “improve the selection” of alcohol available at the Hilltown and Hawkhill stores.

Approving Tesco’s application, licensing convener Stewart Hunter said he was aware the policy can favour big chains who can move booze offerings from other stores.

The policy is due to be reviewed later this year and he added: “Councillor Lynn can raise issues at that point.”