Stall’s booze bid refused

Abingdon News and Booze
Abingdon News and Booze
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A bid to sell booze from a market stall has been thrown out amid fears the move could increase anti-social behaviour in Blackpool town centre.

Santhosh Puthusseri had applied for a licence to sell alcohol at Abingdon News and Booze at stall 13 inside Blackpool’s Abingdon Street Market between 8.30am and 5pm daily.

But the application was refused by a council licensing panel which ruled Mr Puthusseri had not demonstrated he had the necessary skills to manage ‘problem premises’ in an area where there is already a high number of off-licences.

The shop had already been subjected to two licensing reviews with the second resulting in the previous licence holder, Kailasben Gandhi, losing her licence in April 2015 after a hearing was told officers confiscated six bottles of alcohol which was labelled as Glen’s Vodka but which later turned out to be fake.

Coun Luke Taylor, who chaired the latest hearing, said afterwards: “From early on it was clear to see the applicant was ill prepared for the panel and didn’t really put a case forward when given the opportunity.

“Reasons for objecting to the application were because of the saturation policy in the area, which states all licence applications must be of an exceptional circumstance. The panel felt the case presented was not an exceptional circumstance.

“The police also told the panel of anti-social behaviour around Cedar Square, which would no doubt further increase with more licenced premises.”

Mr Puthusseri, who is currently living in London, told the panel if the licence was granted he would move to Blackpool.

He also explained he had worked in his friend’s off-licence while his friend had been on holiday and would do his best to manage the business.

But in making its ruling, the council concluded: “The panel were of the opinion the applicant had failed to demonstrate he possessed the high level of skill required to manage what has been a problem premises in the saturation area although they did note the hours requested were modest.

“The panel were not persuaded by the applicant that this licence if granted would not add to the existing problems in the area.”