A plan to step up efforts to block the development of more Tesco service stations in Ireland is being launched by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

Objections to Tesco’s plans for service stations in Cork were recently upheld, but further plans are in the pipeline. Cyril McHugh, the SIMI’s chief executive, said it would oppose each new filling station that Tesco seeks to build, on the grounds it was using petrol as a loss leader to sell groceries in its supermarkets.

“The fact is our members are limited (under planning regulations) to shops of 1,000sq ft on their forecourts while Tesco gets around it by building petrol stations in the car parks of its supermarkets.”