New Darlaston off-licence given go-ahead despite objections

A bid to open a new off-licence in Darlaston has been given the green light despite residents’ fears it could lead to anti-social behaviour issues.

The row of shops on The Green in Darlaston. Photo: Google
The row of shops on The Green in Darlaston. Photo: Google

Members of Walsall Council’s licensing committee granted a premises licence to applicant Thiviyanthan Arulananthapillai for 3 Star Booze Mart on The Green.

At a hearing on Tuesday, the committee heard concerns from people in the area who said problems that used to exist will resurface with the shop opening from 7am to midnight all week.

But representatives for Mr Arulananthapillai said he had vast experience in running off-licences without issues and added they cannot be blamed for past offences in the area.

It was also pointed out neither West Midlands Police or any other responsible authority objected to the plans.

Jatinder Singh, whose family has run an off-licence there for 14 years, said: “When we first had it, it was a bad area with lots of trouble with drugs, prostitution and our hours didn’t help as we were open for a long time.

“But as we have been working with the community for a long time, we’ve reduced our shop hours so there is no trouble in Darlaston after 8.30pm because we are closed.

“There’s a pub nearby, another off-licence nearby and two 24-hour stores so Darlaston has enough off-licences as it is already.”

Resident Hugh Devlin added: “When the pub shuts, people will be rolling out and thinking they can still get more booze before 12.

“It will be a disaster for the area. Residents who live opposite the shop, I feel more sorry for them because more traffic.

“You have to think of the local residents and not just someone opening a business.”

Patrick Burke, for the applicants, said: “They have a shop in Wednesbury and another in Birmingham which they have run for many years without issues.

“There is no evidence of the issues and no objections from the police. There are representations referring to historic issues.

“The shop is not open and therefore cannot be blamed for any current issues within the area.”

The committee granted the licence and said: “The objections were not relevant and concerned matters of competition of businesses.

“Other matters of nuisance were commented on in generic terms or related to historical matters the new premises cannot be held liable for.”

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