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Objection to Orpington off licence opening opposite largest primary school in Europe

PUBLISHED: 13:13 17 November 2010

Simon Fawthrop

Simon Fawthrop

Archant

Councillors and residents have been objecting to another off-licence opening in an area blighted by anti-social behaviour fuelled by alcohol.

Bromley council’s licensing sub-committee is due to decide tomorrow if the alcohol licence for Crofton Convenient Store, at 149 Crofton Lane, Orpington, will be granted for opening hours of Monday to Saturday 6am until 11pm and on Sundays 6am to 10pm.

The shop opened as Wine Rack on September 22, 2005, before changing its name to Thresher on December 29, 2007, and finally closing on March 3 this year.

This application comes after the company which held the licence – First Quench Retailing Limited – went into liquidation last November, resulting in the shop and the rest of the 112-year-old off-licence chain being looked after by administrators.

Councillor Simon Fawthrop wrote to the licensing committee saying: “These premises will be selling alcohol opposite the largest primary school in Europe (Crofton School). When there is a school of this scale it is impossible to imagine that children might not be harmed by alcohol sales throughout the day.

“Opposite this shop there is also a small park/playing field and both this area and Eynesford recreation ground have seen a drop in reported crime, nuisance and anti-social behaviour since the previous shop closed.”

Police licensing officer Andy Waddington wrote to the council saying that when the shop was open before there were many reported thefts by people who could not get served.

He added: “The area immediately around this location is one that suffers from disorder and anti-social behaviour, with much of that behaviour fuelled by alcohol.

“Within 200 metres there is a dispersal policy in place to deal with problematic youths. These youths often gather outside similar shops causing problems and badgering people in an attempt to get alcohol.”

In a bid to combat the problems of the past he suggested a minimum of two staff in the shop whenever alcohol sales go past 7pm and that the shop is fitted with a security alarm.

To address residents’ fears the applicant, Svis Trading Ltd, has proposed no alcohol sales will be made unless the designated premises supervisor or a personal licence holder is present and the CCTV system is working, and that police will be called if youths gather outside the shop.

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