Residents fear street drinking as licence is granted

PUBLISHED: 16:42 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:19 12 August 2010

RESIDENTS and councillors fear a late alcohol licence granted to a supermarket will increase anti-social behaviour in the area.

RESIDENTS and councillors fear a late alcohol licence granted to a supermarket will increase anti-social behaviour in the area.

At a licensing meeting last Wednesday, Bromley council gave permission for the new Lidl store, in High Street, Penge, to sell alcohol from 7am until 11pm, Monday to Friday.

But worried residents raised issues over parking, congestion, youngsters buying alcohol, noise and litter.

In an objection, Emma Williamson, of Cottingham Road, told the council: "I am hugely concerned. The arrival of the new store will be detrimental to residents. It is already very difficult to park on these roads due to the Sainsbury's store.

"I am a mother of a two-year-old and I need to be able to park my car on my street. Delivery lorries will cause problems in blocking up Cottingham Road, Torr Road and Kingsdale Road."

Mr and Mrs Andrews, of Kingsdale Road wrote a letter to the council which read: "By allowing this shop to sell alcohol for most of the day and night, are we not sending out the wrong message to our young people who I believe we are trying to discourage from drinking?

"Penge has its fair share of 'street drinkers'. Knowing that this shop will sell alcohol as late as 11pm will only encourage them to drink in the street surrounding this shop causing disorder to residents."

Penge Labour councillor, John Getgood spoke on behalf of residents in Torr, Cottingham and Kingsdale Roads but the committee went ahead and granted the late licensing hours.

Mr Getgood said: "Although they were sympathetic to the concerns of residents, they did not think that alcohol sales on their own would make a significant difference to residents.

"The law does not allow the committee to make assumptions about future anti-social behaviour. However, the law does give residents the power to ask for a licence to be reconsidered if there is evidence of behaviour contrary to the licensing laws. This is a powerful option for residents."

A spokesperson for Bromley council said: "Members noted the objections raised by residents but felt that the objections did not justify a refusal of the licence, as allowing the licensable activity was not, in their opinion, contrary to the licensing objectives."

A spokesperson for Lidl said: "We operate a Think 21 policy by which our staff ask any person attempting to purchase alcohol for ID if they appear to be under the age of 21.

"This store is not targeted towards drivers. There is a bus stop outside which will greatly alleviate any possible issue with congestion.

"Our waste is kept inside the store until the time it is uplifted, which is uplifted by the same vehicle which delivers to the store. This will not cause an increase in rubbish.

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