Booze licence granted despite local opposition

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Controversial plans to grant a licence to sell alcohol at a Kirkby off-licence were approved this week.

Members of Ashfield District Council’s licensing sub-committee gave permission to allow the owners of the shop at 43 Central Avenue to sell alcohol from 6am until 11.30pm seven days a week.

Representing applicant Niranchini Mayooran, Stuart Gibson told the hearing that his client wanted to operate a ‘standard convenience store’.

He said that other stores in Kirkby hold a supply of alcohol licence until 11pm, even if they do not stay open until that time, and that his client does not want to be ‘disadvantaged’.

“He wants to be able to compete on a level playing field with the competition,” Mr Gibson said.

He suggested that the objection from resident David Arnold was made on ‘business grounds’ because Mr Arnold owns neighbouring Kingsway Stores, which also has an alcohol licence.

No objections to the licensing application were made by police.

Representing local residents, Mr Arnold said that there was no objection to the new shop opening - just to it having a licence to sell alcohol until 11.30pm.

He told the hearing that the housing estate suffers from vandalism and drug problems and they fear the availability of alcohol late at night will only increase these problems.

“All we are asking is for a sensible time to stop alcohol sales,” he said.

In his letter of objection he wrote that ‘there is already a drugs problem with dealing drugs on the estate.

‘This has been reported to the police on many occasions and still exists due to the lack of police presence on the estate’.

When questioned further about the crime problems, Mr Arnold said that incidents of drug dealing have been reported to the police ‘but nothing ever gets done’.

After hearing the objections, the applicant asked for the hours for supply of alcohol to be reduced until 11pm and withdrew the application to provide late night refreshment, which would have included coffees.

The sub-committee granted the premises licence with the requested amendments.