Portsmouth Co-op stores get permission to sell alcohol for longer

Co-op stores in Portsmouth have been given permission to sell alcohol until midnight
Co-op stores in Portsmouth have been given permission to sell alcohol until midnight
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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FIFTEEN Co-op stores across Portsmouth have been given permission to sell alcohol until midnight every day of the week.

Southern Co-operative put forward bids to Portsmouth City Council to allow each of the shops to stay open and sell booze up until that time.

Each store application was approved despite concerns from residents the changes would create more problems with anti-social behaviour caused by drinking.

The council’s licensing committee believed people’s views were speculative and not based on evidence showing problems already existed.

James Grant, 77, of Hambrook Street, Southsea, was worried about the Co-op shop in nearby Great Southsea Street staying open until so late.

The shop had previously been allowed to open until 11pm.

Mr Grant, a former army signalman, said: ‘I am disappointed. We already get delivery lorries coming by all day.

‘I went into the branch and the staff there were confident the shop would not be staying open until midnight.

‘This is a quiet neighbourhood.

‘It’s just full of houses and flats so I thought it was the wrong place for people to come and get alcohol until midnight.’

As previously reported, Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock wrote to the council against the planned changes for the Winter Road store.

In response to the decision, Mr Hancock said: ‘It’s sad, because local residents living near there would all be opposed to it.

‘Local people have a right to have their views taken into account and more importantly than that, they need to be acted upon.’

Derek Stone, the city council’s principal licensing officer, said: ‘Each application went to a hearing and there was nothing the panel heard that gave rise to anything against the four licensing objectives.’

The Co-op stores which have been allowed to sell alcohol until midnight are in: Tregaron Avenue, Cosham; Havant Road, Drayton; London Road, Copnor; Northern Parade, Stamshaw; Sultan Road, Buckland; The Hard; Winter Road, Southsea; Fawcett Road, Southsea; Francis Avenue, Southsea; Highland Road, Southsea; Great Southsea Street, Southsea; St James Road, Southsea; Copnor Road and Tangier Road, Copnor.