A residents’ group has vowed to oppose future applications to sell alcohol on troubled Armley Town Street – while police have promised action on street drinkers.
Members of Armley Forum heard that two new licensing applications were due to come before Leeds City Council in coming weeks, potentially increasing the number of off licenses in the Town Street area from 10 to 12. One of the applications, for Branch Road, is for a 24-hour license.
The meeting, attended by around 30 residents at Armley Library last night, voted unanimously that the forum should strongly oppose all future applications for licenses to sell alcohol.
One resident said the area was already at saturation point and was ‘unable to absorb’ any more licensed venues. He added:
“There’s too many places where people can buy alcohol already. It’s just adding to our problems, it needs stopping.”
The move comes as police step up efforts to stamp out alcohol-related anti-social behaviour on Town Street.
Insp Simon Jessop told the forum police were working with the council to put together a cumulative impact policy for Armley which would make it easier for the council to turn down fresh licensing application and regulate the number of premises and opening hours. Similar schemes exist in the city centre and Chapel Allerton, amongst other places.
He said it was likely to take six to eight months to get the policy through council.
Police were today due to apply for five court orders to clamp down on suspected street drinkers on Armley Town Street. If successful, the orders would ban the street drinkers from being on Town Street with alcohol on their persons.
And on the 24th of this month police are due to take a day of action in Armley. This includes issuing warning letters to off licenses that if they’re caught serving people who are subject to banning orders they could face action and possibly have their license revoked.
Insp Jessop said laws surrounding licensing were currently ‘very permissive’ but added:
“We are doing everything we can on the street drinking issue.”
The comments come just days before Friday’s public meeting to discuss the future of Armley Town Street, which has been organised by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves as part of an Armley Town Street Revival Plan. The meeting will be held in the library from 5pm.