Petrol station granted controversial alcohol licence

General view of cans of lager and cider
General view of cans of lager and cider
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A SERVICE station has been granted an alcohol licence after it agreed to cut its proposed 24-hour opening times.

Washington Service Station, in Heworth Road, Concord, originally proposed to sell booze around the clock, seven days a week.

The move raised concerns among residents, with Councillor John Kelly, who represents Washington North, among those who objected to the plans.

In representations made ahead of a meeting, where a decision was made about the outcome of the application, he said: “The service station backs onto residential properties, which house both older people and young families.

“This service station has never previously operated through the night due to the noise affecting people in the area.”

A total of 24 residents objected to the application, with a 23-page petition signed by 304 people also submitted to Sunderland City Council.

Householders feared the plans would lead to a rise in crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour.

They said it would be “totally detrimental” to the neighbourhood, with two other “open-all-hours” garages already operating nearby.

Coun Kelly, whose objections were supported by fellow Washington North councillors Peter Walker and Jill Fletcher, also said the move would create a “nuisance”.

However, at a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee, service station bosses agreed to cut planned 24-hour opening times to 6am to 11pm, everyday, and abandoned an application to sell late-night hot food and refreshments.

Speaking at the hearing, solicitor Robert Botkai, representing the business, said: “One of the good things about a process like this is that it brings together the two parties, the applicant and the objectors, in the same room.

“They have met here today and if there are any issues in the future I would like to think that residents would know where to go.

“There will also be no application to sell late-night hot food or refreshments.

“Some residents were concerned that this would cause litter and rubbish problems.”

The committee passed the application, with conditions including the installation of suitable CCTV cameras.

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