Councillors powerless to stop Portsmouth shopkeeper selling booze at 5am

Booze can be sold at 5am
Booze can be sold at 5am

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COUNCILLORS accepted a shop’s bid to serve booze from 5am – even though they didn’t like its application.

Portsmouth City Council’s sub-licensing committee said at a meeting it had no choice but to let Twyford News, in Twyford Avenue, Stamshaw, sell alcohol from 5am until 1am every day because the law says it should be allowed.

Members also felt they couldn’t reject the move because there wasn’t any evidence to suggest the shop was causing trouble – and said it couldn’t have been rejected just because residents speculated that problems may arise.

Councillor Les Stevens, who chaired the debate, said: ‘It was one of those decisions where we made quite clear afterwards that we didn’t like the application. The decision was made on the fact that the law states you can do it.

‘There is no evidence related to this premises of anti-social behaviour or other issues.’

Many residents voiced their disapproval after ward councillors Jason Fazackarley and Leo Madden asked them for their views.

Albert Cooper, of Twyford Avenue, said in a letter to the council that he was concerned about alcohol-related trouble.

‘The noise factor will increase at these late hours by vehicles arriving and stopping at the only place they can park which is outside my house,’ he said.

‘I’m sure they will disregard the yellow lines.

‘The occupants of the cars will be mainly young people on their way out of town from the hotspots of Southsea and eager to refuel with alcoholic beverages.

‘We have an excellent public house in the Mother Shipton a few yards away, run by the competent landlady, and I think this caters for the needs of the local population.’

Dennis Wren, of Newcomen Road, Stamshaw, said he was worried children could come into contact with people who have been drinking since the early hours. In a joint letter, couple Janet and Paul Harvey said they were already facing issues with drunk people.

‘We live two doors down from this shop into Newcomen Road, and are constantly being woken up by drunks rampaging in the alleyway opposite us. People in the street get up at least two mornings a week to find empty beer cans and small spirit bottles either on our windowsill’s, or tucked behind the wheels of our cars.’ The premises will now also be open 24 hours a day.

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