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Town hall refuses to grant alcohol licence to East Ham supermarket

PUBLISHED: 11:51 13 October 2020

Members of Newham Council's licensing sub-committee have refused a supermarket owner's bid to sell booze from 2am to 7am seven days a week. Picture: LBN

Members of Newham Council's licensing sub-committee have refused a supermarket owner's bid to sell booze from 2am to 7am seven days a week. Picture: LBN

Archant

A supermarket in a neighbourhood plagued by street-drinking has been refused an alcohol licence.

Ambal Cash and Carry owner Uthayamoorthy Gnanasunthararasa wanted to offer customers alcohol from 7am to 2am the following day and pledged to be flexible about the hours. But Newham Council’s licensing sub-committee heard there were already problems with anti-social behaviour and drinking in the area in High Street North, East Ham.

Metropolitan Police licensing officer Conal Stoat reported that within a quarter-mile radius of the shop there had been 25 anti-social behaviour incidents in August, 16 in July and 37 in June.

“They are relatively serious levels of anti-social behaviour considering they are in such a small area. I would say that is a relatively high level,” Mr Stoat added. Mr Gnanasun-thararasa’s application included a pledge not to sell super strength beer, lagers or cider above 6.5 per cent alcohol, apart from premium beers and cider in glass bottles. But Mr Stoat said the 8pc strength premium stout Lion, which Mr Gnanasunthararasa wanted to sell, was popular with street drinkers.

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The local authority’s senior licensing officer, John Chislett, explained Newham and the police were working hard to deter street drinkers, including by not allowing alcohol sales at early hours and preventing the sale of single bottles and cans. It’s an area notorious for street drinkers, Mr Chislett said.

The meeting heard Mr Gnanasunthararasa has 20 years’ experience in retail and was committed to not contributing to street drinking problems. An offer was made to remove premium products and assurances were also made by the applicant about the quality of CCTV.

Cllr Neil Wilson, who chairs the committee, asked why he wanted to sell so early in the morning and Mr Gnanasunthararasa explained it was to satisfy customers coming off night shifts.

The councillors also heard that in a 320-metre stretch of High Street North which includes the supermarket, there are already three off-licences and nine eateries selling alcohol.

The committee refused the application. The applicant has 21 days to appeal.


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