New shop misses festive sales through objection

A Bargain Booze franchisee 's licence was delayed for six weeks over Christmas when another local drinks shop objected to it.

Andrew Davies, who recently opened up in Newport, Shropshire, said he missed out on festive sales while he waited for Telford & Wrekin Council's licensing committee to consider the objection -which it eventually rejected .

Satnan Singh Sira, an independent off-licence owner , said he objected because he thought a shop selling cheaper alcohol would lead to gangs of youths hanging around on the streets. He said: "There are no problems at the moment, but we think there would be. There is already a Somerfield and a Waitrose in the town and four or five off-licences in total, so we don't need any more".

The Licensing Act has outlawed ­objections to licence applications on trade grounds, but it is still possible for retailers to object for reasons of crime, disorder or public safety.

Licensing lawyer Graeme Cushion, of Poppleston Allen solicitors, said: "It's

difficult to imagine a compelling representation from another off-licence and if they are objecting because of crime and disorder then where are the objections from the police?"

Under the Licensing Act 2003, objections can be raised by responsible authorities such as police, environmental health or others who have an interest in protecting children from harm.

Objections can also be raised by residents, residents' committees and those working near the business which has made the application.