By David Spereall, local democracy reporter
A new grocery store has been granted an alcohol licence after councillors concluded there was no basis to “wild accusations” against its owners.
Carpatica Ltd, a European food shop, opened on Tong Road in New Wortley earlier this year and subsequently asked Leeds City Council for permission to sell booze.
Two public objections were made against the store’s application, both of which made allegations the company’s director had a history of selling counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes.
However, a licensing hearing on Tuesday was told police and Trading Standards had found no evidence to back up the claims.
Neither objector appeared at the hearing to support their own allegations.
Speaking to a panel of three councillors on behalf of Carpatica, licensing solicitor Ian Rushton told the hearing: “There’s no evidence at all to support these allegations.
“Frankly, they are just wild accusations without any evidence. There’s nothing to substantiate them.
“We suspect they’ve come from a nearby business but we can’t prove that. There’s nothing at all in these allegations. It’s completely untrue.
“We say the allegations are irrelevant and would urge you to completely disregard them.”
Both the police and environmental health officers had withdrawn their objections to the licence application, after the shop agreed to a number of conditions.
Those objections were not linked to the allegations made by the two members of the public.
The store will be allowed to sell alcohol from 7am until midnight every day, after the licence was granted as applied for.
In their conclusions, which were read aloud at the end of the hearing, the panel said the authorities’ view of the allegations was a significant factor in their decision.