Licence of Preston supermarket suspended
A supermarket has had its licence suspended after claims of public nuisance.
Bosses at Europa Delikatesy in Ribbleton, Preston, were hauled before licensing chiefs at Preston Town Hall, where complaints were heard from local businesses of customers drinking alcohol in a nearby car park, and urinating against their premises.
Representatives from the Ribbleton Lane shop said they were working hard to improve the situation at the store - which Wednesday’s meeting heard had recently changed its name to Baltic Delikatesy.
But police had urged councillors to fully revoke the premises licence, claiming public nuisance had not been a major problem in the area before the shop opened two years ago.
Preston Council’s licensing committee has now agreed to suspend the premises licence for six weeks.
Following that, there will be reduced hours for the sale of alcohol, from 12pm to 10pm, and extra conditions added to the licence.
Last week’s meeting heard complaints to police had been around litter and urination in doorways, and officers said it was believed groups were buying alcohol from Europa Delikatesy and then sitting and socialising nearby.
Licensing sergeant Tony Bushell discussed the possible actions councillors could take, including suspending the licence or adding conditions, but described full revocation as “the only one that’s appropriate”.
He said: “It might be argued they (the groups gathering outside) are not in their control once they leave the premises with alcohol, but the problem still exists.
“And the problem, we would say, exists because of the alcohol sold from that premises.
“No other sanction is going to prevent people going to those premises to buy alcohol.”
Representatives for the licence holder suggested the alcohol may be being sold from nearby shops, and not Europa Delikatesy, but police disagreed.
Following a meeting lasting almost six hours on Wednesday, with representations from police, environmental health, Trading Standards and local businesses, councillors deliberated for hours on Friday.
A decision was announced on Monday morning.
Solicitor Ian Anderson saidat the meeting that licence holder Sabah Mohammed was working to turn things around since taking over the licence in February this year.
He said certain customers had been banned from the shop, and said: “Members of staff have approached people who congregate on the car park and the response is we didn’t buy it from you, or it’s not your land, or it’s none of your business.”
He had urged the committee to issue a warning letter, and for the premises to liaise with police and other agencies.