Objections to new alcohol licence bid by Portsmouth city centre shop

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A SHOP repeatedly caught selling alcohol to children faces fierce opposition in its bid for a new licence.

Police, health leaders, council officials and residents have joined forces to protest against an application by Stop N Go in Arundel Street, Landport, Portsmouth.

It comes almost a year after the troubled venue’s licence was revoked following a string of incidents in which alcohol was sold to children.

The store was caught selling alcohol to under-18s twice in undercover stings run by trading standards officials last year – including one occasion when its licence was suspended.

The latest application is made by the Rubeena Kumari Basra, daughter of Stop N Go owners Rakesh Kumar Basra and Parveen Kumari Basra, who says the store will adhere to licensing rules.

The family hopes to be granted a licence to sell alcohol during opening hours of 6.30am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and from 8am to 1pm on Sundays.

But fears have been raised that history will repeat itself.

Stop N Go is near three schools.

It is also in the PO1 postcode area, from which there were more alcohol-related hospital admissions than anywhere else in Portsmouth last year according to Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, the city’s director of public health and wellbeing, who has lodged an objection to the application.

Other representations have come from an alcohol advisory nurse at Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth City Council’s trading standards department as well as two residents who live nearby.

PC Keith Hall from Portsmouth’s licensing team said in a statement: ‘The police have serious concerns that this new applicant, being the daughter of the current owner, is unlikely to be able to overrule her parents in the control and management of the premises.

‘The owners have shown a consistent propensity to disregard the law, to offend on more than one occasion and to fail to engage with responsible authorities.

‘Police feel that the grant of a premises licence at this store with significantly undermine the licensing objectives.’

City councillors are to decide whether to grant Stop N Go a licence for alcohol sales at a meeting on Wednesday.