Off-licence refused longer hours after hearing told it had shown ‘clear disregard’ for community

A Stockport off-licence has been refused longer hours after a town hall meeting was told it had shown a ‘clear disregard’ for the local community.

It means Gary’s, in Edgeley, will not be able to sell alcohol until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays – an hour later than is currently the case.

It will also have to stick to an 8am opening time Monday to Thursday, having requested permission to start half an hour earlier.

READ MORE : Pub hit with complaints over ‘rioting’ underage drinkers, rowdy customers and ‘offensive chanting’ during the football keeps booze licence

The Bloom Street shop was granted a premises licence in February this year – albeit at hours reduced from those applied for.

Six months down the line, the owners felt they had a proven track record of ‘no trouble’ – and asked the council to approve longer opening hours.

However, this was met with a number of objections from residents in the area who raised concerns over late night noise and disturbance.

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People complained there had already been a rise in anti-social behaviour from youths loitering outside the shop, as well as problems with slammed car doors and loud music from delivery vehicles.

The council’s licensing sub-committee came down on the side of the objectors.

Chair Coun Chris Gordon told owner Gary Singh his offer to close at 10pm, rather than 10.30pm Monday to Thursday, would not ‘suitably mitigate against the issue of public nuisance’.

Neither did the panel feel any further conditions would ‘satisfactorily ameliorate’ concerns expressed by objectors.

Councillor Sheila Bailey
(Image: Copyright Unknown)

Mr Singh had earlier told the meeting there had been no problems with anti-social behaviour in the six months he had run the shop – and on no occasion had he had to call the police.

He also argued that the nearby Big Saver store opened till 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, so people were coming to the area at a later hour, regardless.

The businessman questioned why his shop could not run under the same rules.

“I have done my best here, I hope they [residents] can understand what kind of people we are and what kind of shopkeeper I am,” he said.

However, Edgeley councillor Sheila Bailey said the previous application had caused ‘a great deal of stress and concern for local residents’ – yet just six months later the shop was seeking longer hours for the sale of alcohol.

Coun Bailey added: “We believe this demonstrates a clear disregard of the local community and the impact it would have.

“We believe this would exacerbate a situation that has already caused problems for a lot of residents.

“If Gary’s is really the community friendly business it purports to be then it would not, after so short a time, be submitting this second application when the disturbance from the first application has hardly abated.”

Coun Bailey also said failure to provide a suitable bin outside the shop was evidence it had not operated in line with the conditions of the licence granted in February.

The licensing sub-committee – which also included Coun Dickie Davies and Coun Alanna Vine – came to their decision to refuse the extended hours after a period of deliberation.

Mr Singh was told the shop would have 28 days to appeal the decision.

Stockport council licensing and safety sub-committee A met at the town hall on Tuesday night (September 28).

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