Open ale hours: Hartlepool shop bids to sell booze 24/7

A hearing is to be held over a Hartlepool store's bid to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including from a “service hatch” overnight.

Currently The Local Stores, in Raby Road, has a licence to sell alcohol to be consumed off-site from 9am until 7pm Monday to Saturday and 10am until 6pm on Sundays.

An application is now seeking permission to allow the business to sell alcohol all hours of the day.

Documents state between 11pm and 7am the premises would be closed to walk-in trade but would sell though a “night service hatch”.

The Local Stores, in 121-123 Raby Road, is seeking permission to sell alcohol 24/7.

The application is to go before the council’s licensing sub-committee on Tuesday, July 12, following concerns from police, the local authority’s leader and two council departments.

A response from Clare Lawton, from Cleveland Police, said she recently carried out a visit to the store and has numerous worries.

She said: “This area already suffers from high levels of crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour, much of it alcohol related.

“It was also discovered that the premise was not complying to all the conditions imposed.”

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Councillor Shane Moore has outlined his concerns about the 24/7 application.

Additionally, she raised concerns the site would be providing an “alcohol delivery service” which the application provides limited information on.

Cllr Shane Moore, Hartlepool Borough Council’s leader, submitted a response outlining his “serious concerns” with the application.

He said: “This business serves an area that has some of the highest levels of deprivation and drug and alcohol misuse in Hartlepool and as a result sees a disproportionate number of children coming into local authority care.

“I cannot support the granting of a licence which would actively worsen these problems.”

The existing licence was granted in 2017 and Sajaad Ali, the current licence holder, took it over in June 2021.

The new application outlines numerous planned steps planned to meet licensing objectives.

It said: “Comprehensive training will be given to staff in relation to the conditions of the premises licence and in crime prevention measures.

“Staff will use their best endeavours to ensure customers use the premises in an orderly and respectful manner.

“Staff shall monitor the activity of persons using the night hatch, leaving the premises or loitering nearby and remind them of their public responsibilities where necessary.”

A comprehensive CCTV system, incident log and Challenge 25 would also be in place.

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