A Bournville service station will be allowed to sell alcohol in a decision that has been described as ‘disappointing’ after 550 residents objected.
Mary Vale Convenience Store has had its licence granted to trade alcohol up to 11pm after councillors and several residents objected over potential anti-social behaviour.
The site, which does not currently have a convenience store, is just a few metres away from Maryvale News & Wine, which successfully applied for limited alcohol sales in 2015.
The shop was the first in Bournville, once an alcohol-free area known as “The Dry Village”, to break the 120-year booze ban.
It comes as 550 residents contacted Birmingham city council to object to the planned off licence in Bournville.
Why did the residents object?
One, Aleksandra Cavoski, a professor of law at the University of Birmingham, objected on the grounds alcohol would still be consumed and attract “a certain type of clientele”, despite mitigations.
Another, Amanda Chan, who lives a few minutes away from the premises, said she did not want to be the victim of “alcohol-fuelled harassment”.
Why did the licensing committee give the go ahead?
But the licensing committee believed the real issue was the 24-hour sale of alcohol, originally proposed by Naga Rajesh, the agent for applicant Nakendram Piratheepan.
Despite the agent agreeing for CCTV and a hatch window to protect staff after 11pm, the licensing committee believed the “dense residential housing” in Bournville would be subject to antisocial behaviour, during night hours, if alcohol sales were to be permitted overnight.
They said: “Members carefully considered the representations made by other persons but were not convinced that there was an overwhelming evidential and causal link between the issues raised and the effect on the licensing objectives.
“Neither West Midlands Police nor the environmental health department of the city council had objected.
“The sub-committee included one relevant condition which had been agreed with the police, relating to the risk assessment of staff numbers for the shop.
“The other conditions, relating to use of the hatch window and the deployment of door staff, were omitted, as they related to 24-hour trading.
“[We] are satisfied that trading until 11pm would be safe and unlikely to jeopardise the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder, or public nuisance; it would also reassure the female resident who had expressed concerns about women’s safety.”
What have local representatives said about the decision?
Councillor Fred Grindrod, (Lab, Bournville and Cotteridge), said he was “disappointed” at the decision.
“I am disappointed at the decision, and I understand licensing has its own set of rules, but I remain worried about anti-social behaviour.
“I hope the store owners engage with our community, and with the strength of the community, make sure that everyone is confident about their sales of alcohol in Bournville.”
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