Hartlepool shop allowed to sell booze despite petition from concerned residents

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COUNCILLORS have agreed plans for a shop to be able to sell booze despite objections from dozens of residents.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee has granted a premises licence to Jasdeep Kaur, who owns a shop in Jesmond Road, in Hartlepool.

The licence gives Mrs Kaur permission to sell alcohol, known as off-sales, from the shop from 9am until 10pm Monday to Sunday.

Permission was given the green-light by committee members despite objections from three residents and a separate petition that was signed by 21 residents.

Residents were upset about potential anti-social behaviour problems, children attempting to buy booze and noise from the shop shutters when they were closing at night.

Despite residents raising concerns, Cleveland Police and Trading Standards had not objected because a number of conditions had been agreed by Mrs Kaur, conditions designed to reduce the possibility of sales of alcohol to children and included the installation of a CCTV system, the adoption of a Challenge 25 policy and other training.

During a presentation to the committee, Mrs Kaur indicated she wished to be able to provide a “service to the local community”, while also confirming there would be at least two members of staff in the premises and that all staff would be fully trained.

Committee members noted that the premises were up for let and the applicant confirmed that while she would run the shop initially her long term plan was to lease the premises.

Ian Harrison, the council’s principal trading standards and licensing officer, said any future leaseholder would become the licence holder of the premises meaning Mrs Kaur would not be legally responsible for the day to day running of the premises.

If that were to happen, the council’s licensing team would visit the licence holder during their first month in charge and advise them of the conditions. That, the committee heard, was standard practice.

Ahead of the meeting, the council as the licensing authority had received objections from three local residents plus the petition.

Licensing chiefs said among the issues specifically raised by the objectors were the potential for traffic related accidents, particularly due to the premises close proximity to Jesmond Road primary school, anti-social behaviour problems, children attempting to purchase alcohol and noise from the shop shutters when closing at night.

But despite the concerns, the premises licence was agreed by the licensing sub-committee is chaired by Conservative councillor George Morris.

A council report said: “The licensing sub-committee considered the application and representations put forward by the applicant and the written representations received by way of objection.

“The licensing sub-committee considered that the representations did not disclose convincing grounds and evidence to demonstrate that the licensing objectives would be undermined if the application was granted.

“In the circumstances the application was granted in its entirety.”