Asda has won an appeal to install a bottle return machine at its store in Maryhill after the council refused to allow it over concerns it would not be “lawful.”

The retail giant lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government following the council decision to refuse to issue a certificate of lawful proposed use for the bid.

The proposed reverse vending machine is part of preparations for Scotlands’ deposit return scheme, which will see customers bring back empty containers and get cash.

Glasgow Times:

Plans show the bottle return facility would be located under a shelter beside the store’s main entrance on a large area used by customers going into the shop on Rothes Drive.

The council previously had voiced concerns the machine potentially would face a road, which is not allowed.

Officials pointed out they consider a car park, pavement and any private road is included in that definition. Planners also said it is questionable whether the machine would be within the shop’s curtilage, which is required.

The Scottish Government reporter however did not agree and decided to grant a certificate of proposed lawful development for the reverse vending machine earlier this month after a visit to the site.

The reporter said: “In this case, the proposed reverse vending machine would be located on a footway adjacent to an existing Asda supermarket. The main issue in dispute is whether the footway constitutes a road for permitted development purposes.”

The reporter said “a supermarket carpark is not generally used by the public as a matter of right, but by invitation by the supermarket. The council has provided no evidence to the contrary in this case. On that basis I find that, on the balance of probabilities, there is no public right of access over the footway in question. Therefore, I find that it does not constitute a road within the meaning of permitted development legislation.”

The reporter added: “Drawing on my professional experience and my site inspection, I am entirely satisfied that the proposed location is within the curtilage of the shop. It directly adjoins the principal elevation of the supermarket, close to its main entrance and within the private car park that is part and parcel of the retail use.”

An appeal statement lodged on behalf of Asda said other applications at stores across Scotland for the machines were allowed.

The statement said: “To date all other applications have been approved by their respective local planning authorities for stores at Dumbarton, Coatbridge, Dundee Kirkton, St Leonards (Dunfermline), Irvine, Middleton Park (Aberdeen), Blantyre, Clydebank and Hamilton.”

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will be delayed until at least October 2025 after the UK Government stated glass must be removed from the plans.

The scheme would see customers pay 20p on single use containers bottles or cans, which would be handed back to them when they are returned.