Shop owner aims to ease police fears over booze sales

ALCOHOL BID: The former Bargain Booze shop which is to reopen as Vicky's Supermarket.
ALCOHOL BID: The former Bargain Booze shop which is to reopen as Vicky's Supermarket.
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A BUSINESSMAN hopes to overcome police objections to be given a drinks licence for his new shop.

Suvaissan Savarimuthu is planning to reopen the former Bargain Booze shop in Marlborough, Seaham, into Vicky’s Supermarket.

Durham Constabulary is of the belief that this operating schedule does not propose any robust measures to address the likely or potential effect on the licensing objectives.

PCSO Martin Haigh

Durham Constabulary lodged an objection to the licensing application made to Durham County Council over concerns about crime, disorder, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children.

The application submitted set out that the shop would be open from 6am to 11pm daily, with drink to be sold between 9am and 11pm.

Police Community Support Officer Martin Haigh, who is based in the force’s alcohol harm reduction unit, said the applicant had failed to address “in any detail” four licensing objectives within the opening times and “offered very little substance to the conditions imposed”.

Calls made by the team asking for more information and expressing concern were requested as mediation, but officers say these requests were ignored.

PCSO Haigh added: “Durham Constabulary is of the belief that this operating schedule does not propose any robust measures to address the likely or potential effect on the licensing objectives.”

However, the agent dealing with the application from the business, which already runs shops in Hartlepool, say negotiations between Mr Savarimuthu and police are underway to discuss opening hours and conditions, which would address concerns.

It is hoped an agreement is made before Tuesday, when the council’s statutory licensing sub-committee is due to meet at County Hall.

If not, officers, the businessman and the agent will gather for the session to discuss the issues further.

Plans for the unit set out the shop would have a sales counter neighbouring a large alcohol shelves and chiller, with two units storing groceries stretching the length of the building.

If a resolution of the times cannot be met before Tuesday, the sub-committee will be asked to determine whether to allow the licence to be granted at the meeting at 10am.