A GARAGE will sell booze round the clock after its alcohol licence was extended.
Monkwearmouth Service Station can now open 24 hours a day after being given the go-ahead by Sunderland councillors.
People living near the petrol station, in North Bridge Street, have raised concerns over antisocial behaviour and so-called “drinking dens” in the surrounding streets.
Ward councillor Steve Bonallie told a licensing hearing at Sunderland Civic Centre there were two hostels within walking distance – as well as the new Centrepoint base for vulnerable young people.
He said: “The area is a rabbit warren of little lanes and pathways which are used as drinking dens.
“I don’t think a 24-hour licence is appropriate at all in this area and that is the view of a lot of residents.”
Five formal objections were lodged in response to the proposals by owners KSC Worldwide.
But operations manager Darren MacDonald said there were strict controls to stop alcohol being sold to youngsters or those already under the influence.
Staff are given weekly training, a Challenge 25 policy is in place and alcohol is only sold through a hatch after 9pm.
He said: “We are doing everything we can to ensure the sale of alcohol is done in a correct and proper manner.
“We just want to make sure we are part of the community and if prosperity comes to the community, then that helps us.
“I can certainly assure you that it is not our intention to cause antisocial behaviour, which would be detrimental to our business as well.
“This is not just about selling alcohol. It is about offering our customers something they request.”
The petrol station is currently open from 6.30am to 10pm, seven days a week and is allowed to sell alcohol from 7am until 9pm.