Asda has been granted planning permission for a petrol filling station (PFS) at its supermarket in the centre of Gloucester after it said it hoped to bring low priced fuel to residents of the city.

The PFS will take space from the supermarket car park and will consist of six dual-sided dispensers allowing fuel hose delivery for 12 fill positions. The PFS will be fully automated with self-service pumps operated by means of customer credit card authorisation only with no cash sales.

Because of the automated operation there is no requirement for a sales kiosk so the superstructures are limited to the forecourt canopy covering the pumps and a small unit which is located alongside the forecourt which contains the electronic control equipment.

In a covering letter with its planning application, RPS planning consultants said: “This method of forecourt operation is significantly more efficient than “Pay at Kiosk” and “Drive to Pay” stations with much reduced standing time on the forecourt and consequently higher throughput with minimal queuing.”

In its justification for the need for the PFS, it said: “Customers have come to expect a PFS to be associated with a modern foodstore and clearly the fact the Asda store does not have one could result in customers being attracted to other foodstores in the locality which do have petrol filling stations. To prevent Asda from developing a PFS at its store could, therefore, result in reduced trade as more and more customers have a preference for shopping in stores that have a PFS.

It added: “Asda hope that by bringing a new PFS to the store, they can deliver low priced fuel to the residents of Gloucester. A report by the Office of Fair Trading found that the presence of an Asda petrol station drives down the cost of fuel in a local area with the scale of this effect being much greater than the effects associated with any other retailer.

“This is based on Asda’s approach to being the first to lower their prices and the last to raise them. The Office of Fair Trading report highlights that on average the presence of an Asda PFS in an area reduces the price of petrol by 0.8p per litre.”