The owner of a Blackpool food store has been forbidden from selling alcohol amid police warnings it could lead to more booze-fuelled violence in an area where there were more than 700 assaults in a recent 12 month period.
A council licensing panel refused an application by Gheorghe Camarasan for a liquor licence at Nova International Supermarket on Central Drive after hearing there were already six premises selling alcohol within a few minutes walk.
These include Tesco Express, Star Polish Food Store, Premier Store, McColls, Costcutters and Central News.
PC Guy Harrison, of Blackpool police, warned the hearing: “My main concern is we would be looking at yet another off licence in an area with a huge number of anti-social behaviour reports and alcohol related violence.”
Nova International food store
A report submitted to the panel said the police had received 1,792 reports of anti-social behaviour within Bloomfield ward, which the application premises sits in, between September 2020 and September 2021.
Over the same time 729 assaults had been reported, and “a huge number of these can be directly contributed to alcohol consumption.”
Central Drive is also within the cummulative impact area, meaning the council’s policy is to control the number of off licences allowed to open.
Mr Camarasan, who had applied to sell alcohol between 7am and 11pm daily, said he had invested all his money building up his business which sells food from around the world.
After taking over empty premises, he now wanted to sell alcohol in response to requests from customers.
Mr Camarasan said high value drinks would be stored behind the counter and all customers would be asked to prove their age, with a Challenge 25 policy in place.
However the panel refused the application, saying “the applicant had not satisfied them that the licensing objectives would not be undermined if they granted this application.”
The decision notice added: “This is an application for a licence for a supermarket in an area, which suffers from anti-social behaviour and street drinking/alcohol related crime with a number of similar stores in the area.”
Mr Camarasan has 21 days in which to appeal.