Off-licence given green light despite concerns

By Connie Osborne Thursday 27 February 2014 Updated: 27/02 15:55

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A NEW off-licence has been given the go-ahead in Alcester despite police and councillors branding it a 'magnet for youths'.

The application by Super Wines and Spirits, at Hopkins Precinct on Kinwarton Road in Alcester, was approved by Stratford-on-Avon District Council licensing panel following a meeting two weeks ago.

As the Standard reported last week, the shop will be able to serve alcohol from 8am until 11pm and will now become the second shop in the row to have a licence.

Councillors and representatives from Warwickshire Police originally objected to the proposal claiming the area was plagued by anti-social behaviour and gangs of youths.

But the panel gave it the green light under the conditions that cameras will cover all public areas including the entrance and will record in real time.

Any person entering the shop should not wear anything to hide their face and the metal shutters must be down and secured whenever the shop is not open. No internet sales or deliveries can be made.

Following the decision, Coun Mike Gittus, who represents Alcester at county, district and town level, said the 'booze supermarket' would only increase crime.

"This is an extraordinary decision for the licensing panel to make," he said.

"Much was made of the reduction of public nuisance in the vicinity of the application over the last two years.

"What the panel members clearly failed to understand, this reduction came about as a direct result of our Police, town youth club and voluntary workers."

Coun Eric Payne, district councillor for Alcester, added: "I am dismayed by this decision and the impact that it will likely have on the vulnerable elderly living in the immediate area. The impact on their daily lives will be considerable."

Coun Sue Adams, district councillor for Alcester, said she had chaired licensing meetings before and understood the issues involved when making a decision.

"It is very unusual for the police to object to an application and I would have thought that in itself should have given weight to its rejection."

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