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South Woodford off-licence in Cumulative Impact Zone refused permission to extend hours

PUBLISHED: 15:19 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:19 27 October 2020

The premises pictured in 2019. Picture: Google

The premises pictured in 2019. Picture: Google

Archant

A South Woodford off-licence has been refused permission to sell alcohol until at least midnight.

Woodford Express, George Lane, originally applied to the council’s licensing committee asking to sell alcohol until 3am from Thursday to Saturday and 1am on all other days.

At a meeting to discuss the request on October 16, however, a representative for the business agreed this was excessive and said it was now only asking to sell alcohol until midnight.

But the committee this week refused.

READ MORE: Objections as South Woodford off-licence applies to sell alcohol until midnight

The off-licence is located in a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ), where there are existing problems due to alcohol, meaning applications should only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Regarding its decision, the sub-committee wrote it could “see no reason” to extend the hours beyond those normally allowed by the council.

It noted the premises is “located in an area with many residents and significant problems of alcohol related crime and disorder”.

And added: “We do not believe additional conditions could be attached to the licence to overcome these fears. Therefore, that application… is refused.”

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At the meeting, a spokesperson told the committee the business had “never had a major issue or problem related to the sale of alcohol”.

He said: “I believe that an hour extension to midnight is appropriate for people who leave their work and do a quick shop before going home.

“The shop has been there for many years, it’s just a good convenience store. We do not want to attract alcoholic people, we do not want to encourage that.”

READ MORE: Clampdown on alcohol licences

However, Pc Anton Brown argued that “selling alcohol to anyone at that time is likely to encourage drunkenness”.

He said: “The police concern is very simple: if the licence is granted, we believe there will be additional problems in the area.

“Any call that off-licence makes after 11pm will be an additional burden (on police).”

Licensing enforcement officer Priya Cheema agreed the application should not be granted as it would “attract those who are already intoxicated leaving the pubs and bars”.

She said: “When customers are intoxicated, it could lead to violent crime such as assaults and increased footfall in the area could lead to residents being disturbed by noise.”

She added: “The hours currently are more than appropriate for an off-licence in a CIZ.”


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