Alcohol licence battle for Blackpool Food Plus store described as on 'par with Aldi and Lidl'

A European style foodstore planned for Blackpool town centre will not survive without an alcohol licence, a town hall hearing was told.

Saturday, 24th July 2021, 10:30 am
Updated Saturday, 24th July 2021, 10:32 am

Radoslaw Barwinski wants to open a branch of the Polish chain Food [email protected] in the empty former Bright House premises on Abingdon Street.

A town hall licensing panel heard an alcohol licence was vital if the business – which was likened to Aldi and Lidl – was to succeed.

Licensing consultant June Clarke, representing Mr Barwinski, said: “The store is what they refer to as high end, it’s on a very similar par to Aldis and Lidls in its style, layout, food products and standards.”

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The former Bright House store earmarked to become Food Plus

She added: “Just like Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Tesco it needs the benefit of an alcohol licence to secure survival.”

Mr Barwinski told the panel made up of councillors: “We want to sell specialist products such as cake, bread and vegetables but we really need an alcohol licence because without it my shop will not survive.”

Mrs Clarke, said the shop which is due to open in two weeks time, would store all alcohol behind the counter, not sell single cans and stock specialist foreign beers.

But the police and council licensing department objected to the application for a licence to sell alcohol between 8am and 8pm, saying it contravened the council’s saturation policy designed to control the number of licences granted in the town centre.

PC Guy Harrison, of Blackpool Police, warned the area already attracted drinkers who caused anti-social behaviour due to the existing number of places to buy booze.

He told the hearing, held online: “It’s about the fact Blackpool, and this part of the town centre, has a preponderance of street drinkers and alcohol related problems.”

He said this led to anti-social behaviour including during the day when the resort was busy with shoppers and holidaymakers.

Lee Petrak, licensing and trading standards manager at the council, said the location was “metres away from similar licensed premises” including the Co-op, News and Booze and Home Bargains.

He added: “The decision for the panel is, do we want another one?”

The panel is expected to publish its decision next week (from July 26).

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