Underage boozing fear over drinks licence plan for store
FEARS of underage drinking and noise have prompted a 100-name petition against plans for a new shop in Sinfin to sell alcohol.
The owners of Puri Food Store, Wordsworth Avenue, have applied to Derby City Council for a licence to sell alcohol between 9am and 9pm, seven days a week.
The shop opened two months ago at the site of an old petrol station, which the Puri family also plan to re-open as a Texaco garage.
Those protesting against the plans say there are enough shops selling alcohol in the area – a Bargain Booze directly across the road and a One Stop Shop in nearby Sinfin Lane – and that the problem of underage drinking in the street would worsen if the licence was granted.
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A wooden barrier covering the petrol pumps was damaged on Friday night and Surri Bains, manager of the Bargain Booze store, said he suspected "drunk kids".
He said: "This kind of thing is only going to get worse if you have somewhere else licensed to sell alcohol."
Three objections have been sent to the city council ahead of its general licensing sub-committee, which is due to make a decision today.
One, from Alex Bloor, of nearby Grasmere Crescent, said granting a licence would put "public safety at risk due to drunk and disorderly people being able to buy alcohol". He added: "We already have issues with gangs hanging around that part of the street late at night creating noise and mess."
And Kully Chhokar, who also lives nearby, wrote: "By licensing another shop you will only add to the problem."
But licensing officer Roger Vardey replied to say the council "could not legally limit the number of off- licences".
And Barry Lightning, who lives next door to Puri Foods, said he was not concerned about the licence. He said: "The last owner sold booze and there wasn't a problem."
Manager Pankaj Puri said the shop had been vacant for three years before his family bought it. He said: "You can't really say it's going to make the area bad if another shop sells alcohol.
"I have to sell what customers want and I sell a lot of Caribbean food and they use a lot of alcohol in recipes."
He said he hoped the petrol station would open in March, creating two jobs.
Mike Kay, council head of environmental health and licensing, said the petition was submitted after the closing date for comments so the sub-committee would have to decide whether or not to accept it at the meeting.