Rowlands Castle Shell garage denied licence to sell alcohol for a second time

Shell in Whichers Gate Road. Credit: Google Street View
Shell in Whichers Gate Road. Credit: Google Street View
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A PETROL station has been refused a licence to sell alcohol for a second time.

The Shell garage at Whichers Gate Road, Rowlands Castle, will remain unable to sell alcohol after its application for a licence was refused by East Hampshire District Council.

The verdict – given at a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee – came as good news to some Rowlands Castle residents, who feared a licence could have led to drink-driving and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Fiona Charlesworth, chair of the Rowlands Castle Association, said: ‘The feeling in the village is that the Shell garage sells petrol.

‘Everyone I’ve spoken to has been of the opinion that alcohol should not be sold at a petrol station as this could encourage drink-driving.

‘There are plenty of outlets to buy alcohol, including the village shop and supermarkets.’

The application for a 24-hour alcohol licence was submitted by Shell on the grounds more people were using the Rowlands Castle branch for convenience purchases than fuel.

However, when the matter was brought before EHDC, it was ruled sales figures were not representative of this.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘EHDC’s licensing sub-committee felt there was a lack of clear evidence to prove the premises was primarily used as a convenience store rather than a garage. This evidence was vital if the application to sell alcohol at the premises was to be successful.’

The application came after the garage’s previous alcohol licence – granted in 2011 – was revoked in 2012 on the same grounds.

Before a decision was made, EHDC heard concerns from residents and Rowlands Castle Parish Council (RCPC) about the evidence backing up Shell’s convenience sales.

Councillor Chris Stanley, chairman of RCPC, said: ‘Applicants must submit accurate and sufficient data to support their applications, rather than assuming they will be permitted without rigorous examination. We are grateful to the sub-committee for its thorough and professional approach.’

While Shell was not granted a licence to sell alcohol, EHDC approved its application to sell hot food and drinks between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

The News approached Shell for comment but did not receive a response.