Portsmouth garage close to pubs will serve booze for longer

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.

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A PORTSMOUTH garage’s bid to sell alcohol 18 hours a day eased through a public meeting yesterday.

Milton Road Service Station, in Milton, will now be allowed to serve booze from 6am until midnight every day, despite it being within walking distance of three pubs on the same road and a nearby off-licence.

Only one resident objected and no concerns were raised by the police, so the city council’s licensing committee saw no reason to turn down the application.

There was also no evidence to show the premises had caused any trouble since it was given an alcohol licence last year, which had allowed the business to sell alcohol from 8am and 11pm.

At that time it wanted to serve drinks 24 hours a day, but that was turned down by councillors because neighbours feared it would lead to trouble.

David Wearn, of Maylands Avenue, who lives near the garage, was the sole objector this time around.

In a letter to the council, he wrote: ‘We already get a lot of noise and disturbance between the Mr Pickwick and the Esso garage in the early hours.

‘The extra hours that have been applied for will only add to more anti-social behaviour.

‘Everyone in Maylands Avenue signed a petition against the first proposal, and that helped in the council refusing the extra hours in the first application.’

A council officer visited the garage this week and believed it to be well-run with a good range of products and found its CCTV system to be in good order.

Robert Botkai, solicitor for Rontec Watford Limited, which owns the site, said: ‘He (the opposer) said people and the council were opposed to the original application, but they are not this time.

‘He said there was a petition, but there isn’t this time.’

As part of the application’s conditions, customers will not be able to buy single cans of beer and super-strength drinks will not be sold.