Members of the panel refused an application by Vicky’s Afro-Caribbean Superstore on Dickson Road to sell alcohol between 9.30am and 10pm Monday to Sunday
Allowing an Afro-Caribbean store in Blackpool to sell strong beer would add to problem drinking in the area, a council licensing hearing has been warned.
Members of the panel refused an application by Vicky’s Afro-Caribbean Superstore on Dickson Road to sell alcohol between 9.30am and 10pm Monday to Sunday. The police were among those who objected saying it would increase the risk of booze-fuelled violence in the area, which is in Blackpool’s cumulative impact zone aimed at controlling the number of premises allowed to sell alcohol.
Anthony Gregson, agent for the applicant, told the hearing a condition could be attached to the licence restricting alcohol sales to four specialist beers which are popular in Nigeria. These would be Origin beer, Star beer, Gulder Extra Mature and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which are high alcohol beers but more expensive.
A minimum purchase could also be introduced in order to deter street drinkers who usually buy single cans. Mr Gregson said: “With the conditions in place you are not going to get the average street drinker coming in trying to get cheap drinks.
“In most of the shops where there is an issue you can get a small or half bottle of vodka for £4.99, and that’s where the problem is.” But in making their decision the panel said their main concern was the high alcohol content of the proposed beers for sale.
Their decision notice says: “Whilst prohibiting the sale of individual cans/bottles would deter street drinkers who would potentially be attracted by the high ABV products on sale, requiring a minimum purchase of four would encourage the purchaser to consume more than perhaps they would ordinarily.
“This is important because the cumulative impact assessment is based not just on problematic street drinkers; it includes problems caused by excessive home drinking.” PC Guy Harrison, of Blackpool Police licensing team, had told the hearing the store was in Claremont ward where there were already a “huge” number of premises selling alcohol.
This was already putting pressure on police, with 1,483 incidents of anti-social behaviour incidents in the ward last year. PC Harrison said it was not only street drinkers who caused a problem but also residents of the area with alcohol issues and visitors buying booze to drink outside instead of going into pubs and bars.
He said: “It all adds up to more alcohol being drunk on the streets, fights and disorder and the police being called. It’s just like a strip on Dickson Road with every other property essentially being an off-licence.”
The applicant has 21 days in which to appeal the decision.
- 05:00, 21 OCT 2022
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