Anger over Great Park shop’s plan to sell alcohol

FAMILIES have reacted angrily to a shop’s second bid to secure permission to sell alcohol, claiming it would spark an increase in anti-social behaviour.

FAMILIES have reacted angrily to a shop’s second bid to secure permission to sell alcohol, claiming it would spark an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Fears teenage gangs would take to the streets of Great Park, Gosforth, Newcastle, saw local residents object to plans for a licensed shop when an application was submitted to Newcastle City Council in February.

That bid was thrown out by a city council committee, which said that it could “potentially lead to crime and disorder”.

However, managers at the Londis store, on Featherstone Grove, have submitted an almost identical application to sell alcohol between 8am and 8pm.

Neighbours have said crime, loitering teenagers and alcohol-fuelled violence would increase if the plans were given the green light.

One person who objected said: “An almost identical licence application was refused by the committee on February 15, 2011.

“The committee noted ‘the operation of the premises, particularly dependent on alcohol sales, would result in public nuisance being caused to residents in the immediate vicinity and could potentially lead to crime and disorder.”

Concerns were raised as shopowners applied for an alcohol licence.

Police, the council and the council’s environmental health department have so far not raised any objections.

Narinder Singh submitted the application to Newcastle City Council.

Originally it was hoped a 15-hour licence would be granted for the sale of alcohol between 7am and 10pm.

But those plans have now been scaled back and the store plans to sell alcohol for 12 hours between 8am and 8pm.

CCTV, no plastic glasses and specific training for staff to spot problem shoppers are all to be implemented to avoid disorder.

In the latest submission, which will go before Newcastle City Council’s Sub-Licensing Committee today, 24 people living nearby have objected to the plans, while 14 have supported them.

Concerns raised by residents in the Great Park area include increased traffic, noise disruption and parking.

One objection said: “We have, on a number of occasions, had the police called due to young people drinking on the Great Park, being rowdy, and hanging around the play parks making excessive noise.”

Supporters believe granting a licence would improve the local area and the shop had become a “hub” of the community.

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