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Residents object to Costcutter alcohol licence application over anti-social behaviour concerns

Fears over drunkenness and anti-social behaviour were expressed at a council meeting yesterday (Wednesday) by residents opposing a new Costcutter in Springfield Road.

A licensing application for the soon-to-open shop to open and sell alcohol from 6am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday was discussed at the Royal Borough’s Licensing Panel Sub-Committee at Windsor Guildhall.

Several residents and Clewer East ward councillors John Bowden (Con) and Eileen Quick (Con) raised concerns about anti-social behaviour, with 138 signing a petition against the shop.

One resident said: “The youngsters come round sitting on the bench making noises, it will intimidate residents and allow and invite the youngsters to create problems in that area.”

He said young people ‘have a tendency of stealing things’ and asked what measures the shop would take to prevent theft.

Residents also raised concerns over increased traffic, fearing it could endanger children.

One of the objectors was the owner of Annes News, a Nisa Local franchised store next to the future Costcutter site which is licensed to sell alcohol from 6am to 11pm but operates from 8am to 8pm.

Barbra Birch, who lives in the area, said: “I can’t understand why we need another off-licence next to the one that’s already there. If I bought up the town could I open up another M&S next to Marks and Spencer?”

“Yes you could,” replied panel chairman Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) who frequently reminded attendees that the panel is only there to decide on whether to grant a licence based on crime, safety and anti-social behaviour related factors.

The applicant, Charul Patel, who has a long history of running off-licences, was represented by Gill Sherratt, from Licensing Matters.

The Costcutter is due to take the place of a two currently empty shops in a row of three businesses.

Ms Sherratt said: “Legally, need is not a consideration here today. By law there could be 10 Costcutters in a row.”

She said that the shop would operate a Challenge 25 policy and would have extensive CCTV inside and outside the shop.

Deliveries would be made round the back of the shop between 10am and 12pm to minimise traffic disruption.

She said shops often sell alcohol for the same hours they are open because a failure to cover up a display of alcohol during opening hours would be a criminal offence.

The panel is due to send its decision within five working days of the meeting.

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