RESIDENTS PROTEST: New Brighton store able to sell alcohol
Seabank Road in New Brighton, Wirral, where the store is located, Image: Google Streetview
A store in New Brighton will be able to sell alcohol for 14 hours every day, despite fears the plan could lead to underage drinking.
Today’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Licensing Panel approved the plans, put forward by Go Local Extra, on Seabank Road in the Wirral seaside town.
This means the shop can sell booze from 8am-10pm every day, although it had originally asked to sell alcohol from 7am before scaling back its demands.
46 local residents sent a letter in protest at the plans, while three others also wrote to the panel arguing against the alcohol licence.
Margaret O’Donnell, Wirral Council’s Licensing Manager, said the letters related to concerns including anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance, parking issues, litter and underage drinking.
Conservative councillor David Burgess-Joyce asked if the shop would be selling high volume alcohol, something widely associated with anti-social behaviour.
Jaswinder Singh, the applicant, said that he did sell 9% beers at a shop he used to run in the West Midlands, but he would not be selling beer and cider at any volume above 5% in the New Brighton store.
Several members of the panel, including Tory councillor Alison Wright, asked how would the shop tackle underage drinking?
Kirandeep Kaur, Mr Singh’s wife, said the couple have experience dealing with this problem and that they would always document everyone they refused to serve.
She added that there are cameras which will pick up if people are waiting outside for an older person to buy them alcohol and that she or Mr Singh would look around the area to see if there were any children nearby who may be having booze bought for them.
Ms Kaur added that the couple have children who will grow up in the area and she wants them to go to a good school and grow up in a good area, she would not want them to be drinking underage.
Chris Johnson, who was representing the applicant, said Mr Singh wants to sell alcohol from 8am, as nearby competing stores do.
Mr Singh was happy to wait an extra hour and not sell booze from 7am, but he did not want to be at a disadvantage to other stores in the area by having a licence which began any later than 8am.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV