Dial-a-drink bid by new store

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A 24-HOUR booze delivery service could be launched in a town –despite objections from residents fed up of drunken troublemakers.

An application for an alcohol licence has been put in for the former sandwich shop which is being turned into a general dealers in The Avenue, in Seaham.

In addition to its bid to sell drink from 6am to 10pm each day, its bosses want to set up a round-the-clock delivery service.

Residents living near the Deneside store have put in objections, telling Durham County Council they already suffer at the hands of drunken groups who gather in the alleyways from the main road, the rubbish they leave behind and their bad behaviour.

They say incidents go unreported because of the fear of reprisals and say Carricks, the existing off-licence in the row of shops, is enough.

Carricks has also objected, saying there are already off-licences in the area, the delivery service will exacerbate issues and policing of underage drinkers would become more difficult.

It adds it will have a detrimental effect on its business, which is already struggling because of the recession.

Police have also said they are against the plan, to prevent crime, disorder and public nuisance.

But those behind the proposal say they have been working with police to resolve issues and will be a responsible trader, operating a challenge 25 policy and loading the delivery vehicle in advance to prevent a disturbance at night.

It will refuse to sell to those already drunk or who it believes will cause a disruption.

They say the dial-a-drink idea is the result of demand, with two of the businessmen involved in the shop taxi drivers, who are regularly asked by passengers where they can buy drink after normal opening hours.

Stuart Arkley, who has made the application, said: “We’ve had strong feedback about it so far.

“We’ve done some research to see if it will work.

“Some people going home after shift work would be customers.

“I worked at Nissan for 10 years and the late shift with overtime would finish at 2.30am, and you want to wind down, sometimes with a few cans.”

If the alcohol licence is not granted those leasing the shop still plan to open it as a general dealer.

The application will be discussed at the council’s statutory licensing sub-committee twomorrow in the council chamber in Spennymoor.