Victory for Hornchurch residents as store is given alcohol license until 8pm

RESIDENTS living near to a food store are claiming victory after councillors rejected the store’s plans for a 24 hour alcohol license.

At the licensing meeting on Tuesday November 9, the committee refused an application for Park Lane Food Centre in Park Lane, Hornchurch to sell alcohol for 24 hours and instead gave permission for the store to sell alcohol until 8pm.

Chair of the licensing committee, Cllr Peter Gardner (Con) said: “Given the high level of concern particularly from the public about the fact that it is in a residential area and having taken into account their many concerns we have decided to grant the licence for the sale of alcohol until 8pm.”

The committee also slapped on other conditions including the installation of CCTV cameras and that all staff should be suitably trained before working in the premises.

Earlier the committee heard that there had been 35 objections against the application and two petitions containing 20 and 30 signatures.

Councillors also heard objections from the residents because of the negative impact they believed it would have on the area.

One resident, said: “Residents in Park Lane and the surrounding areas have seen an increase in anti social behaviour caused by youths being drunk.

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“When we wake up in the mornings we see broken and smash bottles and our cars have been damaged and we believe that if the applicant was to be granted a license then these problems would just increase.”

The councillors also heard from another resident who pleaded with the committee that if they were going to grant the alcohol licence then it should be until 8pm.

Police Licensing Officer, PC Dave Leonard also asked the committee to consider the view of the residents.

He said: “There is going to be a potential for irresponsible sales so that is something the owners are going to have to address but I would ask the committee to remember that at the end of the day we all go home but for many of the residents they will be living with the off license all the time.”

But Graham Hopkins speaking on behalf of the shop’s owners said: “The applicant would be willing to reduce his hours to 11pm and he has no intention of being a specialist off licence.

“He wants to sell a range of alcohol and spirits which will be behind the counter and we appreciate that the store is in a residential area.”