By John Baron
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and the three Armley councillors have spoken out against the latest application to sell alcohol in Armley.
Mr Kaewan Salam Hamarashed has applied to Leeds City Council for a new licence to sell alcohol at 6-8 Town Street from 7am to 11pm daily, and 10am to 11pm on Sundays.
Armley is a designated Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP) zone, where it is more difficult to get permission to sell alcohol due to anti-social behaviour and street drinking in the Town Street area.
Now Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, Labour councillors Alice Smart and Jim McKenna and Green Party councillor Lou Cunningham have all raised their concerns.
In a letter signed by Ms Reeves and councillors Smart and McKenna, they said: “To grant another alcohol license would impact the work that is already being done to reduce the levels of street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour seen in and around Armley Town Street.
“From a public health perspective, there is a great deal of multiagency work being done to help people in Armley with alcohol dependency issues – having more establishments selling alcohol for 16 hours a day is not a constructive action and sends out the wrong message for our community.
“There is widespread community reporting that people do not always feel safe visiting Armley Town Street and the perceptions of anti-social behaviour associated with drug and alcohol use are widely documented.
“We want to encourage our communities to use Armley Town Street and support our local businesses. We will continue to work with our police teams and council teams on all aspects of community safety and in doing so strongly object to the granting of another alcohol licence within the vicinity of Armley Town Street.”
Cllr Lou Cunningham is also objecting to the application. She said: “Armley residents welcome new business ventures on Town Street but feel that we do not have room for yet another shop selling alcohol.
“Residents question why over the last 20 years so many shops have been granted licences. Their objections are not levelled solely against yet another shop selling alcohol but also the lack of variety and lack of desires for other types of traders to invest in our high street.
“I will continue to represent the voice of my community within this and any future applications.”
A hearing date is currently scheduled for 28 March. The application can be viewed in full here.