Off-licence at junction of Mare Street and Well Street given green light despite anti-social behaviour fears

The junction of Mare Street and Well Street, where neighbours have complained of anti-social behavio

The junction of Mare Street and Well Street, where neighbours have complained of anti-social behaviour. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

An application to open an off-licence in an area already suffering from excessive street drinking and anti-social behaviour (ASB) has been given the go-ahead.

In his bid to sell alcohol at D Cut, on the junction of Mare Street and Well Street, Adebola Akinrinbola stated: “My only intention is to sell alcohol on a 24-hour basis, and for it not to be consumed on the premises.”

Although the round-the-clock off-licence was refused, Mr Akinrinbola can still open the shop from 9am to midnight and sell alcohol until 11pm.

Pc Kerrie Ryan from the Met’s licensing unit said the busy junction with Well Street was already saturated with licensed premises, some of which are open until the early hours of the morning.

Urging the licensing committee to restrict the hours until midnight, she said: “There have been many new premises licensed to sell alcohol over the past couple of years and the popularity and footfall in this area has increased significantly.

“This unfortunately brings with it antisocial behaviour issues like urination, vomiting, fighting, assaults, disorder and littering.

“Empty bottles can be used as weapons and the emergency services are then required to restore order and calm.”

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She flagged up concerns that most customers buying alcohol from an off-licence between 2am and 6am would have already consumed a lot of alcohol and a refusal to sell them more could cause “confrontation and aggression”.

One person who lives around the corner from the shop said this particular area of Mare Street has a “lot of problems”.

“You can go down there any time day or night and you will find groups of street drinkers generally causing issues,” they said.

“The proximity of this property to the St Mungo’s Mare Street hostel will no doubt cause an even bigger issue and potentially extend this ASB 24 hours a day.”

Despite reservations from David Tutt at the council’s licensing team that the 24-hour off-licence could become “a focal point for crime and ASB”, thus causing misery for its neighbours, it was granted permission to go-ahead by the council’s own licensing committee on Thursday last week. Booze must be kept behind locked grills or screens, no beers or ciders over 6.5% in strength can be sold and neither can spirits in bottles under 50ml.