Behaviour fears over off-licence

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RESIDENTS fear plans for an off-licence in their neighbourhood will trigger anti-social behaviour.

An application has been made to Blackpool Council seeking permission to sell alcohol from premises in St Leonard’s Road, Marton.

Ramanpreet Kaur wants to convert the Retro Cafe into a convenience store, with a licence to sell alcohol up until 11pm at night.

But the Marton Neighbourhood Watch claims the move will lead to yobbish behaviour.

Now they are urging residents to submit formal objections to the proposal.

Co-ordinator Mary Naylor said: “The Neighbourhood Watch group has spent seven years improving this area. We used to have a Spar store there and youths used to hang around and cause a lot of trouble.

“We have worked so hard to make the area safe again and we feel this would be taking a step back.

“There are a lot of elderly people living around here and we already have a number of outlets which sell alcohol.

“I am urging as many people as possible to object and I have distributed 700 fliers in the area around the application premises.”

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David Slattery-Christy, the PACT (police and community together) member for Marton, said: “This is a densely populated residential area.

“And they have already had problems in the past.

“If alcohol is going to be sold until 11pm at night, then obviously it is going to be a place where people will congregate so I think the residents have every right to object if they are concerned.”

The council has a policy to control the number of off licences allowed to open in Blackpool’s most deprived wards, but the strategy does not cover Marton.

The council’s head of licensing Sharon Davies said residents had until February 10 to make an objection.

She added: “Any representations must relate to the objectives of the licensing act.

“And need is not an issue which can be taken into account.”