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HomeNews‘Who needs to buy vodka at 3am?’ 24-hour New Wortley booze plan...

‘Who needs to buy vodka at 3am?’ 24-hour New Wortley booze plan condemned

By David Spereall, Local Democracy Reporter

A west Leeds convenience store is facing huge resistance to its plan to sell alcohol up to 24 hours a day.

As previously reported, Booze Plus, on the junction between Tong Road and St Mary’s Close in Armley, has applied for a round-the-clock premises licence from Leeds City Council.

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But West Yorkshire Police and the council’s public health and environmental health teams have objected to the idea.

The application was originally due to be decided last month, but the licensing sub committee meeting was postponed due to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

One local resident has called for the application to be dismissed, saying: “Who really needs to buy a six-pack and a bottle of vodka at 3am? And would you want them hanging around your house at such a time?”

The neighbour, whose written objection was anonymised in papers released ahead of a hearing next Tuesday, added: “As it is, I regularly have to recycle the empties dumped on my premises, having been bought during normal licencing hours.

“Considering the staff costs involved in a 24-hour operation, I would imagine that a 24-hour licence could only be profitable if the shop is busy all night – not a prospect I would welcome, for obvious reasons.”

Police claim the area is rife with street drinking problems and say the issues would be made worse by an extended round-the-clock licence.

Officers say the drunken anti-social behaviour is intimidating local residents and keeping them out of the town centre.

In his written objection, Police Sergeant Christopher Craven said: “A great deal of police effort and time has been diverted into addressing the concerns, addition patrols have had to be moved from other areas, police officers regularly are committed and tied up with drunken individuals who are been abusive or passed out in the area.

“The only 24-hour licensed shop (in Armley) creates a large demand as individuals from across the city attend, often drunk in taxis, to access readily available alcohol, which in turn leads to round the clock anti-social behaviour and violence.”

In their application form, Booze Plus’ representatives promised a long list of measures would be adhered to to protect the general public.

These included stringent CCTV conditions, a pledge to operate ‘Challenge 25’ to address the risk of underage sales and the running of a refusals register.

The form, submitted by applicant Saqib Ahmed, added: “Signage will be displayed to remind customers to respect the local residents in relation to noise and to discourage loitering and anti-social behaviour outside the premises.”

The current hours of selling alcohol are 8am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 10.30pm on Sundays.

A panel of three councillors will decide whether or not the licence extension should be granted at next Tuesday’s hearing at Leeds Civic Hall. The agenda and papers attached to the application can be read in full here.


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1 COMMENT

  1. In his written objection, Police Sergeant Christopher Craven said: “A great deal of police effort and time has been diverted into addressing the concerns, addition patrols have had to be moved from other areas, police officers regularly are committed and tied up with drunken individuals who are been abusive or passed out in the area.

    This officer should be sacked for being illiterate.

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