Chris Black writes:
Last night I stumbled across the council site notice next to Asda which mentioned the licensing application for 24-hour sale of alcohol. (The council website says the hours are 00:00 to 00:00 because the software won’t let you write 00:00 to 24:00).
Now, it’s very important that licensing applicantions are dealt with properly and impartially, so I’m just writing the following to clarify things for residents.
First of all, I was told today that Asda do NOT intend to open 24 hours per day . In fact they are no longer asking for a display sign to say “24 hours “. I understand that they are giving an undertaking to turn off an illuminated sign at night-time. They presumably want to have 24 hours alcohol license just in case they change their mind at some stage.
Secondly – I was surprised to learn that when the inspector granted permission to Asda he didn’t include an condition about opening hours so they can open 24 hours a day if they want to. (there are restrictions on delivery times). I really should have spotted this absence in the inspector’s decision letter (!) not that there was anything that could be done about it.
Next, the council have sent me the following quote from government guidance :
paragraph 10.21 states – ‘Shops, stores and supermarkets should normally be free to provide sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises at any times when the retail outlet is open for shopping unless there are good reasons based on the licensing objectives for restricting those hours. For example a limitation may be appropriate following (police) representations in the case of some shops known to be a focus of disorder and disturbance because youths gather there.’
How you can judge whether Asda will be a ‘focus of disorder’ before it opens is unclear.
Please note that any representations must be made in writing by 26 September to the Licensing Unit at the address below setting out details of the person making them including their address and the grounds upon which they are made.
Rochford District Council
Tel: 01702 318036