Tesco has agreed not to sell strong beers, ciders and caffeinated alcoholic drinks in an unprecedented move to secure a licence from a Scottish council.

The retail giant is to restrict its range of alcoholic drinks after West Dunbartonshire Licensing Board imposed the move as a condition.

It had been applying to extend its alcohol sales area for a new store in Clydebank, near Glasgow.

Trade sources claim that while the move could reflect well on Tesco's "partnership approach" to working with public agencies intent on driving down alcohol-related health problems and on its corporate responsibility, it could set a precedent for other boards.

It also paves the way for possible legal challenges by drinks manufacturers.

West Dunbartonshire, which has been at the forefront of Scotland-wide moves to restrict the number of liquor licences in circulation, has relaxed its strict over-provision regime, which has seen only a small handful of alcohol licences granted in recent years, one of which was a micro brewery. The area's approach even limited supermarkets looking to extend their alcohol areas.

West Dunbartonshire also gave the go-ahead to a Wetherspoons bar in Dumbarton, the first new pub in the town in several years, after the firm claimed it would bring jobs to the economically depressed area and act as a catalyst for other investment.

Tesco's concession will mean it must keep beers, lagers and ciders where the alcohol-by-volume content is greater than 5.5% off the shelves, as well as any cans and bottles of beer, lager and cider in packs of less than four where the individual unit size is 440ml or less.

Tesco does not stock the popular brand Buckfast, but sells other alcopop-style and vodka drinks with a strong caffeine content. As well as super-strength lagers, the agreement will also prevent Tesco stocking much of its usual range of continental beers and fine ales.

A West Dunbartonshire spokesman said: "The licensing board approved the application from Tesco to vary the existing licence after considering the application and its benefits compared to the existing premises licence. They also took into consideration the additional responsible conditions agreed by Tesco to tailor the products available for sale.

"The board approved the new application from Wetherspoons in Dumbarton after considering the significant benefits this business would bring to the area in terms of job creation, particularly at a time when employability is a major priority.

"Research clearly demonstrates that employment is good for physical and mental health and well being, and that these benefits to the local population can outweigh in appropriate circumstances the adverse impact of an application. In addition there were no police objections and the board were impressed by the measures Wetherspoons had put in place to prevent alcohol abuse."

A Tesco spokesman said: "As a responsible retailer of alcohol we work closely with local councils and the police to address any concerns raised in the communities where we operate.

"Where the local authority or police have concerns over high-strength products, they have added conditions to our licence with which we comply. We also keep our range of alcohol under constant review based on customer demand and feedback and as a result have removed products such as high-strength white cider from our shelves."

West Dunbartonshire became the first Scottish council to declare itself beyond saturation point with premises selling alcohol in October 2010.

More than one in 20 of the area's 90,000 residents are said to be alcohol-dependent and, according to the council, it has the second-highest number of licensed premises in Scotland per head.

The new policy, which applies for the next three years, includes a requirement that pub landlords take greater responsibility for ensuring their premises are run appropriately, combating recent incidents where it is reported that pubs have illegally bypassed electricity meters.