Try-before-you-buy off-licence approved for Stourbridge
Stourbridge’s first try-before-you-buy off-licence has been given the green light after a councillor said it was "for serious drinkers, not boozers".
Dudley’s development committee has approved planning permission for off-sales shop selling craft beers with a tasting area where customers can try ales before taking them home.
The decision came despite claims by residents it would add to anti-social behaviour, encourage on-street drinking and lead to drinkers urinating in public.
But supporting the application, Councillor Ray Burston said: “From what I’ve observed of these kind of establishments they don’t tend to generate anti-social behaviour. It tends to be people who are more serious drinkers rather than boozers.”
Earlier, the meeting heard objections claiming the shop, on Lower High Street, was inappropriate for an area with 80 residential properties.
Residents had said it would add to existing problems including people urinating in an adjacent alleyway.
But supporting the application, Councillor Chris Neale said: “I frequented a few of these establishments and it’s not like a pub .
“One of the conditions is it should close at 8pm and I can’t see that being a problem at all.
“They have toilets so I don’t see why people would be urinating in the alleyway.”
Recommending councillors approve, planning officers backed the plan for the former charity shop saying: “The proposal would ensure the continued use of the building, promoting the vitality and viability of the centre and would not undermine its overall role.
“As such, it is considered that this change of use would be acceptable and in accordance with policy within the Dudley Borough development strategy and the Stourbridge area action plan.”
They added neither West Midlands Police or the council’s environmental safety and health officer had objected to the proposal.
The application was approved unanimously.