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COUNCILLORS have given a supermarket the go-ahead to sell alcohol 17 hours a day in an already-troubled area of Southsea.

Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee agreed a Tesco Express in Palmerston Road’s precinct can offer drink from 6am until 11pm every day once it opens in a couple of months.

Though residents and local businesses said the move would create problems with noise and parking, the committee said at a meeting that these weren’t strong enough arguments against.

Councillor Michael Andrews, who represents the area, said selling alcohol at 6am was far too early and from 8am would have been more appropriate.

‘Six in the morning definitely has to be unacceptable,’ he said.

‘I’d like the committee to restrict hours on Sunday and Christmas Day. Above the shops there are residents’ housing and flats built as a part of the actual fabric of the building. I had a look around the shops and the earliest shop I could see opening was Greggs at 7.30am.

‘It’s a bit like Commercial Road. Although it’s a shopping area, it’s in an area that is quiet outside the main shopping times.’

No objections were raised by the emergency services.

In a letter to the council, Fiona McMurray, of Palmerston Mansions, said: ‘The area already has a concentration of premises that can sell alcohol in a variety of different ways, including four convenience stores, two supermarkets, six pubs/bars and clubs and a number of restaurants.’

Tesco solicitor Jeremy Bark said CCTV would be installed at the main entrance, tills and near the alcohol displays.

Spirits will be kept behind the counter and other drinks will be put close to the tills.

Alcohol will be included in the same deliveries as groceries so as not to increase traffic.

‘As you probably know well, 10 stores are already located within Portsmouth and as far as I am aware, none of these cause problems whatsoever,’ Mr Bark said.

He said that in the past year Tesco had a 100 per cent track record when it came to passing mystery shopper tests.