Neighbours fail to stop approval of shop alcohol bids

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NEIGHBOURS have lost their battle to stop shops selling alcohol 17 hours a day.

The city council’s licensing sub-committee was impressed with Spar’s application to sell alcohol in the former Devonshire Arms pub, in Devonshire Avenue, Southsea.

A Tesco being built on the site of the Cumberland Service Station, in nearby Eastney Road, Eastney, has also been granted an alcohol licence.

Both premises will be able to sell drinks from 6am until 11pm.

As previously reported in The News, neighbours were concerned the plans would stir up anti-social behaviour.

There were also fears that cheap drinks deals would jeopardise the future of Eastney Road’s last remaining pub, The Fort Cumberland Arms.

Councillor Terry Hall, who represents Eastney, said she wasn’t surprised the move had been approved because no objections had been raised by the police.

‘Without police objections, the chances of getting something overturned is minimal,’ she said.

‘I am disappointed because we are pretty much saturated with places to go and buy alcohol. Alcohol is very much in the news at the moment because there’s the debate about whether we should have increased prices and stop it being so readily available.

‘It’s a concern when you can have access to alcohol as early as 6am in the morning. This move is also a concern because it’s going to have an impact on the pub. Pubs, like shops, are important parts of our communities.’

Mark Ellenor, 45, who lives with his wife Samantha and their two daughters Daisy, 11, and Lucy, 16, said both decisions were ridiculous.

‘We are going to be surrounded,’ he said.

‘The prices of the houses around here will go down.

‘Why on earth the council has allowed a beautiful building like the Devonshire Arms to be turned into a Spar I do not know. This will create more problems and we’ll end up attracting more drunks to the area.

‘It’s not right that alcohol is going to be served that early in the morning.’

Both shops have already said they will tackle problems by installing CCTV and working with authorities.