Licensing chiefs have refused permission for alcohol to be sold at a proposed new food store in Blackpool town centre after police warned it could fuel more anti-social behaviour.
Food Plus is set to open in the former Bright House premises
A town hall licensing panel has turned down the application by Radoslaw Barwinski who wanted a licence for Polish chain Food Plus@Polon, which he is planning to open in the empty former Bright House premises on Abingdon Street.
The police and council licensing department had 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.
A decision notice published following the hearing says: “Members acknowledged the number of conditions offered by the applicant but did not feel that they sufficiently addressed the policy to rebut the presumption of refusal in an area already saturated with convenience store type premises which suffered from alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour.
“In addition, the panel felt that insufficient information had been provided about the applicant and his experience in operating a premises licensed for the sale of alcohol.
“In the absence of such evidence the panel concluded that they would have issues managing a retail premises within such a challenging environment and therefore potentially contribute to the problems being experienced in the area.”
Mr Barwinski had told the panel he proposed to sell specialist products such as cake, bread and vegetables, but also needed an alcohol licence “because without it my shop will not survive.”
But 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 said this led to anti-social behaviour including during the day when the resort was busy with shoppers and holidaymakers.
The applicant has 21 days in which to appeal.