New convenience store set to open in Southsea

A NEW convenience store will open in the city despite neighbours' concerns about disturbance.

By Fiona Callingham
Friday, 11th September 2020, 4:45 pm

During a virtual meeting yesterday (September 10) Portsmouth councillors agreed to a licence for the Highland Express Convenience Store.

It will open in a currently disused unit at 121 Highland Road, in Southsea.

As a result the store, which is set to open for the first time in the next eight weeks, will be able to open and sell alcohol between 6am and midnight every day.

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The unit at 121 Highlands Road, Southsea, that will become a convenience store. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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However, ahead of the meeting two objections were made by nearby residents and 10 signed a petition objecting to the store.

Dawn Staker, who lives above the shop, stated her objections during the meeting. She said: 'We have lived there almost a year above the shop that has been empty, fully aware it will be a shop again.

'It's a residential area. There are young children on each side - all I am saying it's all very young families around there.

'I have been told parking is not an issue, you obviously don't know the area very well because there's a horrendous problem with parking there.

'18 hours for a shop to open in a residential area is quite something. I am quite happy for it to be anything else apart from a shop that opens 18 hours a day with young families around.'

But Jon Wallsgrove, speaking on behalf of applicant Kumarasamy Uthayatharan, said: 'The applicant himself already operates and owns another shop - the Costcutter in Outram Road in Southsea and that has a premises licence.

'I would say in relation to the concerns about what might happen late at night is not something that he experiences at his store in Outram Road.

'It is not the case that people leave drinking establishments and then go to the off licence or convenience store on the way home and purchase more alcohol to consume while making their way home - that's a bit of an urban myth.'

Mr Wallsgrove added: 'It's been empty for a while, with him going in and opening a convenience store it's going to provide employment for people.'

The unit was formerly used as a beauty parlour before it closed.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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