All-night alcohol licence for town centre garage

PUBLISHED: 10:04 18 August 2014

High Street, Burnham on Sea.

High Street, Burnham on Sea.

Archant

ALCOHOL can now be bought in the centre of Burnham at any hour of the day after a controversial ruling.

An application was put forward for the Esso garage on Oxford Street to acquire a 24-hour license for the sale of alcohol back in June, and subsequently minded for refusal by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council who cited the increased risk of anti-social behaviour.

But last week Sedgemoor Licensing Panel overruled the recommendation, concluding a number of conditions imposed, including the installation and recording of CCTV, would be sufficient to stifle any threat of unruly conduct.

A spokesman said: “It was clear to the panel that a major concern of the objectors was the perception that any increase in the hours of trading would result in an increase in noise and anti-social behaviour in and around the premises during the early hours.

“Objections concerning the need or requirement of a 24-hour licence was not a valid reason for refusal of the application.

“The police submitted an objection but were now satisfied that the implementation of their proposed conditions would address their concerns.”

Those conditions will also mean spirits are stored behind the store counter, and all purchases must be made via a serving hatch between midnight and 5am.

The approval will also see an extension to the garage’s licence for ‘late-night refreshment’, which was also challenged by the council, with further conditions limiting sales to hot drinks, and ensuring ‘facilities for depositing litter’ are maintained.

Councillor Phil Harvey, one of the application’s main opponents during the Burnham and Highbridge council meeting, said he was disappointed with the ruling.

He said: “Quite a few of us are disappointed with the approval. The way the system works seems to be that what you might call reasonable objections from residents cannot be taken into account. It almost seems like a technical decision and that’s it, and whether it is desirable doesn’t matter.

“I don’t want to blame the panel, it is more the way it is drawn up and I just hope our fears don’t turn out to be justified.”

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