Anger as Portsmouth petrol station bids for longer alcohol licence

Portsbridge petrol station, Portsmouth, which is hoping to get a 24/7 alcohol licence.''Picture : Habibur Rahman
Portsbridge petrol station, Portsmouth, which is hoping to get a 24/7 alcohol licence.''Picture : Habibur Rahman
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PLANS to extend a petrol station’s licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day have sparked outrage with residents who say it will add to crime and bad behaviour.

Owners of the Portsbridge service station in Cosham are hoping to extend their licence to allow them to operate and sell alcohol every hour of the day, as well as sell hot food and drinks between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

The station, which consists of an Esso garage and Morrisons shop, currently only opens and sells alcohol from 6am to 11pm every day.

There have been 20 objections.

David Baxter, of Highbury Way, said: ‘I am totally outraged that the owners even think this proposal would be acceptable by its residential neighbours.

‘We accept that we live next door to a pub and expect a bit of noise up until midnight. But to expect residents to accept this 24 hours a day is outrageous and I would expect the licensing team to veto this at the earliest opportunity.

‘It will only attract people in noisy cars. It happens now outside the pub, people shouting and swearing at midnight.’

Highbury Grove resident, Kelly Semmens, agreed. She said: ‘Late hour opening and a 24-hour licence to sell alcohol will draw unwelcome attention and increased footfall at unsociable hours, not to mention the potential for damage to local property.’

Cosham councillor and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Lee Mason, shared their fears.

He said: ‘I do have grave concerns about petrol stations selling alcohol 24/7 but even more so when on a large residential estate like the Highbury’s.

‘Given the very close proximity to Cosham Park, Cosham precinct, Hilsea lines  and King George V fields, I worry even more about its potential to fuel anti-social beveraging and behaviour. If it did, it could have a real negative effect on my residents’ enjoyment of these areas.’

Police have recommended that, if the application is approved, certain conditions will have to be met.

These include providing training for staff about the sale of alcohol, displaying age verification signs and not selling beer, lager or cider that is over 6.8 per cent ABV in plastic or metal containers.

The station’s licence will be decided at a licensing sub-committee meeting nextTuesday, June 5.l