Wembley shop's alcohol licence request 'not a good idea' says Met
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Councillors rejected an Alperton post office’s request to sell alcohol after concerns it could exacerbate existing problems around street drinking.
Brent Council’s licensing committee refused an application by Deven Morjaria of Alperton Stationery Shop, in Ealing Road, for a new alcohol licence at a meeting on March 29.
It found in favour of arguments put forward by licensing officers from the council and the Metropolitan Police, who stressed that approving the application would likely lead to more issues in the area.
This was based on the fact there are already “at least nine” off-licences in close proximity, which has led to the establishment of a ‘cumulative impact zone’ to try and manage any problems caused by this.
The Met’s Gary Norton noted the “ongoing issues in Ealing Road”, particularly involving street drinking, and suggested adding another would “not be a good idea”.
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“Even with the best will in the world, adding to the supply will only cause more of a problem,” he said.
He was supported by Brent Council’s licensing team, who said the proposed site would act as “just another off-licence”, suggesting it was not “niche” enough with alcohol too prominent a feature.
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The committee, and the responsible authorities opposed to the proposals, acknowledged the applicant’s experience and his efforts in putting together a detailed plan.
This was highlighted by his legal representative, Roy Light, who pointed out Mr Morjaria had run a shop in Brent for 12 years, while his family had done so for 30.
Furthermore, Mr Light stressed the main purpose of the shop was to provide a “valuable resource” as a post office and that alcohol sales would only act as an additional part of the business.
He added the request was for relatively “modest” hours of 9am to 10pm, while there had been “no objections” from local residents, businesses or schools.
However, the committee felt approving the licence would have a “real risk of increasing crime, disorder or public nuisance” in the area and would impact on the “already stretched” resources of the council and police’s licensing teams.