Hornchurch shop fails in booze application

Hornchurch residents were celebrating after councillors threw out an application to increase the hours of the sale of alcohol at a shop.

The licensing committee rejected plans by Park Lane Food Centre, in Park Lane, to open from 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 12 Friday and Saturday, at a licensing meeting yesterday (Monday).

Committee chairman, Cllr Peter Gardner said: “We have heard a lot of comments from concerned residents and there is a significant local and police concern regarding public nuisance.

“I do not think that a suitable time has passed for the applicant to request a variation in the license and we have no evidence from the number of illegal sales that the applicant is prepared to comply with the licence.”

The off licence started selling alcohol in November last year but on December 8 the owners breached the terms of the licence when alcohol was sold to a council officer.

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On March 11 this year they were also issued with a warning letter when alcohol was sold to a council officer at 8.30pm.

Police licensing officer, Dave Leonard said: “It is a lively residential area and we have to look at the congregation of youths hanging around the shopping parade and when the Safer Neighbourhood teams have been dealing with the youths the they have not been supported by the shops staff, which is not the type of community support that we are looking for.”

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Earlier the committee heard there had been 42 objections from residents against the proposals and 29 representations in favour of the application.

Resident Michael Murphy said: “If this applicant obtained the licence in November and has already managed to breach the licence twice in four months, he should not be allowed to be given more hours.”

Graham Hopkins, speaking on behalf of the applicant defended the licence breach arguing that the staff who had committed the first offence had been sacked and the second offence was a mistake.

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