Doncaster store’s booze plan is denied

Wisla Supermarket,  Netherhall Road, Doncaster. The owners have applied for an alcohol license extension. NDFP Wisla MC 1

Wisla Supermarket, Netherhall Road, Doncaster. The owners have applied for an alcohol license extension. NDFP Wisla MC 1

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A supermarket owner has been told he cannot sell alcohol for an extra three hours a day as part of a borough-wide crack down on ‘harmful drinking’.

Doncaster Council’s licensing sub-committee rejected the application from the owners of Wisla Supermarket, Nether Hall Road, to vary their licence.

The road is one of the areas covered by a ‘cumulative impact policy’ – put in force in areas where there is a high density of premises selling alcohol – to help prevent alcohol-related problems of nuisance, disorder and anti-social behaviour. In areas where the policy is in place, applications for new licences or extensions to existing ones are normally refused.

The shop is allowed to sell alcohol from 11am - two hours after it first opens – until 11pm – one hour before it shuts Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the shop shuts an hour earlier, but the licence times remain the same.

Owner Raivis Smats had applied to extend the licence to cover all the hours he was open but to reduce his Sunday opening hours from 10am until 10pm.

But the proposal was met by objections from two health officials.

Public Health Alcohol Co-ordinator Andy Collins said: “In October 2015 Public Health proposed a new Cumulative Impact Zone in and around Nether Hall Road.

“Consumption in the home has been a key driver for the increases in alcohol harm, according to the 2012 National Alcohol Strategy, and this new zone seek to minimise harm from further increases in off-licence density.

“Research shows that levels of alcohol harm have a positive correlation with the density of off licence premises.”

He said: “In Lower Wheatley, alcohol-specific admissions to Doncaster Royal Infirmary for residents in this area is the second worse in the borough.”

Senior business safety and licensing officer Daniel Weetman said: “The Licensing Authority objects to the granting of this application based on the potential impact on the promotion of the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety licensing objectives. Selling alcohol from 9am until midnight, six days a week, is likely to increase crime and disorder, and harmful drinking.”

After receiving the objections, Mr Smats proposed a reduction of the hours – bringing it down to 9am until 11pm – but this was still refused.

Coun Ken Keegan, chair of the licensing sub-committee, said: “The applicant had not successfully demonstrated that he would be able to meet the requirements of the Cumulative Impact Zone and not add to problems in that area.”