By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
A grocery store in Radford has been given permission to sell alcohol despite claims it could lead to more crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.
Councillors met to decide whether to grant Maxi Foods in Denham Street an alcohol licence at a licensing panel on Tuesday, January 25.
The applicants stressed the off-licence would close at 9pm (seven days a week) and would not sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 to ensure any concerns were addressed.
A petition has been lodged objecting to the proposals, which was set up by another business in the area, also responsible for selling alcohol.
Mustafa Barak, representing the applicants, told the panel his client had 15 years of experience in the trade and the shop was a family business which he ran with his wife.
He said CCTV would also be in place and only packs of four would be sold rather than single cans and bottles, to deter street drinkers.
He said the petition had been set up by “commercial objectors rather than residents”.
“There is a general comment of concerns raised (by one objector) – anti-social behaviour and the safety of the children in the nearby school, I would say the conditions proposed by my client and police adequately deal with any concerns in relation to the licensing objectives.”
Nottinghamshire Police had made some objections to the application initially, but these objections have been withdrawn following discussions with the applicant.
Sahar and her mum Shaheena Tariq, which run a business in the area, objected to the proposal.
Sahar Tariq said: “I am a resident here and my mum owns a business here. We are a well-established business in the area – over 30 years. It would generally disrupt the peace we are trying to maintain.
“Crime may have been reduced by the pandemic but so has footfall.
“If this application was made in the summer, we would see more evidence from the police about parties late at night and a lot of disruption because people have been out.
“We know the area like the back of our hand. I know the challenges and issues that come with this area.
“The applicant may have experience in Derby of running off-licences, but they do not know how deprived this area can be. We know not to serve alcohol to those people because we know who they are and their families.
“It will just add to the issues of this area. If you look at it simply, more alcohol in this area has always been associated with more crime.”
Cllr Toby Neal (Lab), chair of the licensing committee, said the saturation zone for this area – which limits the amount of places which sell alcohol – is not currently in operation as the council is looking at this policy.
In conclusion he said: “We are sympathetic to the issues impacting on the local community and in the past there has been particular policies that sought to minimise the impact of the sale of alcohol in the area.
“However, on the basis of this application, we can see no reason for rejecting the application and we are going to approve it.”