A South Ayrshire Councillor has been given the green light to more than double the off licence capacity in his business in Maybole.
Brian Connolly, who is an Independent councillor for the Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton Ward is the joint owner of BDC Fuels LTD situated in Maybole High Street.
And his plans to expand his business were given the greenlight by South Ayrshire Council’s Licensing Board at a meeting on Wednesday 12 February.
The plans for the petrol station at 96 High Street in the town will see the alcohol display area in the shop increase from its current capacity of 8.69m squared to a new capacity of 18.25m squared.
Councillor Connolly wasn’t at the meeting in county buildings to present his case and this prompted Ayr East Councillor Ian Douglas to question whether a decision should be taken by the licensing board there and then since the applicant wasn’t there.
He mentioned that Councillor Connolly had in the past written a letter to object to plans by a fellow petrol station to expand yet wasn’t here to present his case.
This prompted a search to see if Councillor Connolly was in county buildings before a decision was taken by members to go ahead and decide on the plans anyway.
There was a moment of hilarity in the chamber as Councillor Douglas said: “I think that we should go ahead and approve this application.”
Chair of the Licensing Board Ann Galbraith and Councillor Sandra Goldie, who both share Councillor Connolly’s ward, pointed out that the current premises are very small. The petrol station also carries out many other activities than selling alcohol, including selling fuel, groceries, hot food and having a cash machine inside.
Councillor Connolly expressed his satisfaction at the decision. He said: “We’ve received planning permission to have a bigger floor space to double the size so we just needed this passed as we’re alterating the size and the off licence display.
“We’re delighted to get it through and it’s simply a matter of investing money in the business in order to provide a service for the customers.
“It was purely a business decision as a shop like this is becoming more and more dependent these days on the shop sales rather than the fuel sales.”