Portsmouth Co-op store to sell alcohol for longer

Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to allow a Co-op to serve alcohol for longer have been given the green light.

The store in High Street, Old Portsmouth has been given permission to serve alcohol from 6am until 11pm.

Councillors on Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub committee gave the go-ahead for the store to open for an extra two hours in the morning from Monday to Saturday and an extra four hours on Sunday morning with an extra half-an-hour on Sunday evening,

Councillor David Fuller, deputy chairman of the board, said: ‘The police weren’t objecting to it.

‘People were saying there were drunk people coming away from the shop.

‘But people were assuming they came from the shop – we have to have hard evidence.

‘If there is a problem with this establishment or any other establishment they need to contact the licensing authority very quickly because we will step in.’

Resident Terry Henderson said: ‘These extended hours will undoubtedly lead to anti-social behaviour involving people taking alcohol to places such as the Cathedral Memorial Garden and the Hot Walls.

‘We are concerned by this because it’s not something that has been requested by local residents. This could lead to a public nuisance.’

Katy Hounsell-Robert added: ‘The British government is taking all the steps it can to reduce alcohol abuse for health and safety reasons without reducing ordinary people’s moderate enjoyment.

‘Surely by not adding to the available hours of alcohol this would help.’

Retired Colonel Jonathan Lloyd is Chapter Clerk of Portsmouth Cathedral.

He said: ‘It has been known for young people to acquire alcohol at the Co-op store and then consume it in the Cathedral’s memorial garden, which is almost certainly the closest area with seating to the store. They are often noisy and anti-social and become aggressive and unpleasant when they are asked to leave by Cathedral staff.’