Members of the Board voted four to one in favour of the licence, which relates to a disused retail shop situated at 8A Spittal Street. Greene King had initially applied for the judicial review because a number of its pubs are situated nearby - including the Corn Exchange just 75 meters away (scroll down for map).
But Martin had criticised Greene King’s stance, claiming ‘it is a throwback to the 1980s when the major brewers tried to stop Wetherspoon and other companies opening up close to their pubs’.
“These attempts to stifle competition were important factors in the investigation of the industry by the Monopolies Commission more than 20 years ago,” he said. “It seems to me that Greene King are frightened of competition and are seeking to preserve a local monopoly in Stirling.
“The strange thing is that Wetherspoon is Greene King’s biggest customer and we have traded with them for more than 30 years, so we are more than a little surprised by their actions.”
Cask ale brewer Greene King operates eight pubs in Stirling, with six located within 400 meters of the JD Wetherspoon pub in question. The below map shows each of these pubs’ proximity to the proposed new pub (the blue pin relates to the new JD Wetherspoon pub, green pins are the nearby Greene King sites).
The closest existing JD Wetherspoon pub is the Carron Works in Falkirk, 10 miles away. Now that Stirling Licensing Board have voted in favour of the licence, Martin added: “We would now ask Greene King to respect the decision made by members of Stirling Licensing Board.
“This would then allow Wetherspoon to invest more than £1.5 million on the new pub and create 50 jobs in the process, which has to be good news for the city.
“Just as important, it would offer people in Stirling more choice in terms of which pub they wished to visit.”
A recent trading update for JD Wetherspoon showed an increase in like-for-like sales of 6.3 per cent for the 13 weeks to 28 April, with total sales rising by 9.3 per cent over the same period. In the year to date (39 weeks to 28 April 2013), like-for-likes and total sales increased by 6.7 and 10.1 per cent respectively.