ALCOHOL has been removed from a petrol station after a landmark court victory by a parish council.
Rowlands Castle Parish Council won its appeal against a decision by East Hampshire District Council to grant an alcohol licence to Shell garage in Whichers Gate Road, Rowlands Castle.
The licence was granted last year, causing widespread concern about drink-driving and anti-social behaviour.
But the case at Fareham Magistrates’ Court was won on a point of law.
Under licensing laws, premises mainly used as a garage cannot sell alcohol.
Representatives from Shell were unable to convince magistrates the premises was mainly used as a convenience store, rather than a garage.
A statement from Lisa Walker, parish clerk, and John Pickering, chairman, said: ‘We are naturally very pleased and satisfied that the court found for the parish council. This appeal was not taken on lightly.
‘We have been superbly advised and represented in this matter by our specialist solicitor Julia Palmer.’
Mr Pickering added: ‘We are reassured that even a small parish council is able to access the due legal process in appropriate cases.
‘The implications of this case could be wide-ranging since all operators of garage sites should assess whether they are, in fact, entitled to sell alcohol.
‘Sites where fuel sales constitute the primary business activity are not lawfully allowed to sell alcohol.’
Magistrates awarded full court costs to the council.
A statement from Shell UK Oil Products Limited said: ‘The decision is being reviewed and all options including that of an appeal to the High Court are being considered.’