Bid to Allow 24-Hour Alcohol Sales in Herefordshire Town Sparks Local Outcry
A bid to allow 24-hour alcohol sales in a Herefordshire town has provoked widespread local outcry.
Kington Town Council said it had received over 85 objections from townsfolk to plans for the new Morrison’s Daily, formerly Ashby’s/Nisa, in the town’s High Street to sell alcohol round the clock.
“Alcohol abuse is evident within the town, and we believe allowing the purchase of alcohol on a 24-hour basis, particularly at night, will exacerbate existing issues of local crime and disorder,” the town council said.
Town councillors also feared the proposed licence extension, submitted by the shop’s new operator Samy Ltd, “will encourage people to drive to the town to access this store, encouraging the potential for those driving under the influence of alcohol”.
Noise from night-time custom would also “severely disrupt” nearby residents, while customers’ vehicles would add to the “history of vehicles parking illegally on the narrow High Street”, the council added.
Given the levels of concern, the case is set to be decided by Herefordshire Council’s licensing subcommittee on November 13.
Among the submissions to the subcommittee, one individual, their name redacted, wrote: “Words fail me at the prospect of this being considered acceptable.
“What possible justification can there be for this? There’s an alcohol and drug problem already in Kington, so why would this usually quiet town want to allow 24-hour access to more alcohol?”
Another nearby resident said alcohol-related anti-social behaviour “is already impacting our lives here”.
A third pointed out the town centre is home to many central bed-and-breakfasts as well as residential properties, yet “in the summer there is already a problem with groups of drinkers hanging out on the High Street after hours and [I] see this as only encouraging this behaviour”.
“Morrisons may very well have targeted Kington because of its low socioeconomic status, assuming that we probably have a higher number of residents with alcohol problems,” they added.
No objection to the bid from police or environmental health officials has yet been published.
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