Hartlepool store can sell alcohol for longer after scrapping 24/7 booze bid

A Hartlepool store has been granted permission to sell alcohol for longer hours and through a delivery service after scrapping its plans to sell drinks 24/7.

The Local Stores, at 121-23 Raby Road, Hartlepool . Picture by FRANK REID
The Local Stores, at 121-23 Raby Road, Hartlepool . Picture by FRANK REID

At the start of Tuesday’s council licensing sub-committee meeting, store representatives revised their request, instead seeking permission to sell alcohol in store from 9am until 11pm and through a delivery service until 3am.

It was outlined the shop is planned to remain open from 11pm-9am through the “service hatch” but would not sell alcohol during these hours, meaning this would not be covered by licensing laws.

Concerns over the plans were reiterated, however, with Zoe Craig, council environmental health manager, warning the late operating hours and delivery vans would cause “noise and nuisance”.

Councillors ultimately granted the premises a licence to sell alcohol from 9am until 10pm seven days a week.

They ruled deliveries of alcohol may take place and continue from 10pm until midnight each day, with conditions in place to manage both aspects.

David Wilson, legal representative for store boss Sajaad Ali, stressed the shop will continue to be run “very responsibly” with the “heavily regulated” delivery service only taking orders online from residents inside properties.

However, Paul Clark, solicitor for Cleveland Police, warned the store is in a high crime area and the delivery service should be a “non-starter”.

He said: “This is about risk assessing and preventing any issues from happening in the future.

“What we are concerned about is alcohol and the impact of alcohol on the local and wider communities.”

He added the store’s existing licence, permitting it to sell alcohol from 9am-7pm Mondays-Saturdays and from 10am-6pm on Sundays, already “seems reasonable.”

Mr Wilson argued high crime rates are due to the location and length of Raby Road while stating no residents nearby had objected.

He added: “There is no evidence of a single crime at my client’s premises or immediately outside it or anything of that nature.

“The pound is not worth what it used to be, as a result drinking at home does not equate to drinking more for the same money.”

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