Residents find alcohol licence hard to swallow

FRESH concerns have been raised about Sainsbury’s move to Stobhill after residents learned the store is applying for an alcohol licence.

Notices have been posted at the former Black Swan pub, where the supermarket will be based, to advise that it is seeking permission to sell alcohol between 6am and midnight.

The news has caused some alarm among residents, who were already anxious about the store over a lack of consultation and the potential for disturbance.

Neighbour David Mash said: “The whole proposal is just not in the best interests of the businesses or the people who live there, it is just awful.

“Sainsbury’s is not talking to the community, it is not being transparent and now signs are going up saying it wants to sell alcohol between 6am and midnight.

“We are concerned about that because it is the nuisance that comes with alcohol. We are worried that people will be suffering anti-social behaviour and I have pointed out to the police that it is going to cause extra policing for them.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said it is standard practice to apply for a licence to sell alcohol until midnight, but the store will only be open until 11pm, the same time as the pub trading hours.

He said: “Sainsbury’s is a responsible retailer and is committed to operating our shops with the upmost consideration for our neighbours, keeping any disruption to a minimum.

“We invest time in training our colleagues to ‘Think 25’ when selling alcohol and to ask anyone who looks as if they may be under the age of 25 to show their ID. The training also ensures they are aware of their obligations, both under legislation and social responsibility when serving alcohol.”

The company will meet a local councillor to discuss its store in the New Year.