TESCO is set to open a new store in York city centre before the end of the year.

The supermarket giant has passed a key hurdle in its plan to open the express store in Gillygate after councillors granted a licence to sell alcohol throughout its opening hours of 6am to midnight.

The store will be based in the former Wackers fish and chips restaurant, with city planners already having granted permission to create five flats above it.

Two members of the public had raised concerns about the impact on drinking in the area.

They said it would attract students from nearby York St John University, as well as people from the Changing Lives homeless shelter in Union Terrace.

One resident wrote to the council: “The opportunity to top up on off-sales late at night for those already inebriated will be extremely attractive and doing so will only exacerbate the raucous noise, refuse and public order problems residents already have to endure.” 

Hardish Purewal, Tesco’s licensing manager, reminded councillors of the company’s experience in selling alcohol in its stores across the country.

She added: “There’s been talk of street drinking or the hostels close by – we already work with the police and the [street] rangers and if a ranger says please don’t sell alcohol to a particular person, we won’t do that.

“We won’t sell alcohol to someone who’s going on to cause anti-social behaviour.”

Ms Purewal said she hoped the store, which will employ 20 staff, would be open by October.

Tesco already has three express stores in York city centre.