Express & Star

Anti-social behaviour fears over proposed new store

Worried residents fear anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related trouble could increase if a proposed Darlaston off-licence is approved.

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

Applicant Thiviyanthan Arulananthapillai wants to open Star Booze Mart in an empty shop on The Green in Darlaston, operating from 7am to midnight seven days a week.

But the plans have sparked concerns from residents living nearby who are worried about the impact the shop’s late-night opening will have on the area.

Members of Walsall Council’s licensing sub committee are to decide on whether to grant a licence at a hearing on Tuesday.

In evidence submitted to the committee, both West Midlands Police and the local authority’s community protection team raised no objections to the application.

The applicants also said CCTV would be in use, the shop would operate a ‘Challenge 25 policy, sufficient litter bins would be provided while customers would be urged to respect neighbours by keeping noise down when leaving the store.

But a total of 16 representations were made from people in the area who are against the plan to open the new off-licence.

They said the area already has enough places to buy alcohol while there used to be issues with fighting, street drinking, gangs congregating and litter.

They added another convenience store had reduced its opening hours which had seen many of the problems alleviated.

One resident said: “I feel this would not be a good idea as the influx of trouble that would return to the area as a result.

“We currently have an off-licence that serves the community really well and the proprietors have in the past reduced opening hours to combat problems and worked well with the community.

“I see no need for another off-licence to be opened. I also feel for the safety of the elderly people that live in the immediate vicinity of the green Darlaston because of the youths that would again flock to the area.”

Another added: “I have lived here for seven years and walk my dog every night to the fields on The Green.

“It’s a delight to see after nine, the shops are shut and its peaceful. The Green does not need another off-licence and I strongly object as I know the area will be back to what it was many years ago with yobs and alcoholics here all night.

“I suggest you come and see how nice it is before you destroy the only nice part of Darlaston left.”

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