New convenience shop to open at old Portchester pub site

CLOSED DOWN The Linden Lea pub in Portchester
CLOSED DOWN The Linden Lea pub in Portchester
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PERMISSION has been given for a convenience store to open and sell booze on the site of a pub which closed last year.

More than 120 residents living close to the former Linden Lea pub in Portchester had signed a petition calling on Fareham Borough Council not to let the new Co-op open.

But the licensing panel said it could not consider many of the problems residents were worried about such as traffic and anti-social behaviour.

The shop will open in the existing building in Linden Lea once it has been refurbished. It will be open from 6am to 11pm, seven days a week, and it has permission to sell alcohol from 8am to 11pm each day.

Linden Lea resident Ann Weldon attended the licensing panel hearing and said: ‘We’ve got a lot of youngsters that live locally and they are going to kick off, causing trouble, hanging around by the shop.

‘We’ve already got the Red Barn convenience shop nearby that sells alcohol, why do we need another one?’

Graham Turner, of nearby Jute Close, added: ‘The traffic building up along Linden Lea, especially when the schools start and finish, is horrendous. It’s already unsafe, and now we’re going to have all these Co-op delivery lorries as well.’

The store will have 12 parking spaces.

Jon Wallsgrove, solicitor for Southern Co-op, admitted they were in a ‘crystal ball gazing’ situation when trying to prevent problems. But he added: ‘You should have every confidence that the quiet, peaceful neighbourhood will continue to exist.’

The store will have 16 colour CCTV cameras inside and outside. Staff will also have to record on the till and in a logbook every time they challenge a person’s age when they try to buy alcohol.

And staff will be trained in the law and their responsibilities when selling alcohol, to be refreshed every four months.

Licensing panel chairwoman Cllr Pam Bryant said the panel considered the facts carefully before agreeing to grant permission.

The police did not have any objections to the licence.

Southern Co-operatives also took over the former White Hart pub in Portchester and turned it into one of its stores in September this year.