Police object to Preston store drinks bid

Police have objected to a new convenience store in a problem area of Preston selling alcohol from early morning to late at night.

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 7:00 am
The newsagent's shop which will become the Eldon Local convenience store.

Owners of the shop, Eldon Local in Plungington Road, have applied for a premises licence to allow them to sell drink from 6am to midnight, seven days a week.

But the application is being challenged by both Lancashire Police and the city council’s environmental health department who both feel there should be tighter restrictions on alcohol sales in the area.

“This new premises is located in an area of Preston that currently has an extremely high volume of both anti-social behaviour and associated crime,” police will tell the city’s licensing sub-committee when it considers the application next week.

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“Police and other agencies are spending a large amount of time dealing with incidents and a high proportion of these are alcohol related problems.”

With Covid measures currently restricting the sale of alcohol, the police say: “An additional licensed premises in a residential area will allow customers to continue to drink, allow them to engage in further anti-social behaviour, potentially cause social distancing issues and encourage house parties and on-street drinking.”

An environmental health expert at Preston Council has written to the licensing sub-committee to back the police stance on alcohol sales from the store so early in the morning and so late at night.

Senior environmental health officer Ian Massey says in his letter: “I feel it (the application) will undermine the licensing objectives of the prevention of public nuisance.

“This is especially in relation to the earlier and later times of the proposed alcohol sales within a substantially residential area.”

The new store, which will replace B&D Newsagents next month, will be owned by Balasubramaniam Sriananthan who is scheduled to take over the premises on December 14.

He told the Post his agent would be challenging the views of the police and environmental health office when the case is heard by councillors on Tuesday morning.