Sainsbury’s backs off in booze battle
Sainsbury’s has backed down from its application for 24-hour licence after a flurry of complaints over its impact on Ottery’s town centre.
The supermarket, who’s new 22,000sq ft Hind Street store is well on the way to completion, had originally applied to sell alcohol from 6am until midnight six days a week.
But East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Licensing Committee said this was not acceptable, and it was agreed instead hours of sale between 8am and 10pm would be more appropriate.
There were a large number of complaints from Ottery residents when plans for the licensing application were revealed, including local district councillor Roger Giles, who said they constituted ‘unfair competition’ in the town.
Cllr Giles, representing several other objectors to the proposals, attended the EDDC meeting on Tuesday, September 13, along with fellow Ottery district Councillor Tony Howard, who both spoke against various proposals from Sainsbury’s, as did local residents Jan Thatcher and Lorna Brice-Nye.
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Mr Giles said he was concerned about potential issues of anti-social behaviour in the Hind Street car park and the Land of Canaan area, and Cllr Howard, expressed concern for local business.
But having heard the concerns of those who spoke, the committee considered the store would be well managed and said there was no real evidence that the operation would cause the unacceptable impact local residents suggested.
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Sainsbury’s argued the application to sell alcohol from 6am to midnight was merely in line with their nationwide standard application, and was an umbrella application to cover all eventual possibilities, such as the Christmas period of trading.
But they relented, offering sales from 8am to 11pm, later agreeing with the committee to an alcohol license from 8am to 10pm, subject to Sunday licensing rules.
East Devon District Council said it carefully considered whether the application promoted the licensing objectives along with local and national police, the particular locality of the premises in a ‘small market town centre’, and the relationship the new store would have with other local residents and businesses in making its decision.
Over the objections from local residents it said: “The committee believe the concerns expressed in representations had been addressed by the hours of operation for the licensable activities.”