Walsall shop granted alcohol licence despite street drinking fears

A shop owner has strongly denied illegally selling alcohol and assured residents the expansion of his business will not result in trouble in the area.

Taylors News in Blackwood Road, Streetly. Photo: Google Street View
Taylors News in Blackwood Road, Streetly. Photo: Google Street View

Walsall Council’s licensing committee granted a premises licence to Taylors News in Blackwood Road, Streetly, at a hearing on Wednesday.

Owner Aiden Stanton said the licence would enable him to sell hampers containing alcohol from the premises, as well as expensive bottles of wine or scotch.

The application prompted a number of complaints from residents who feared it would add to issues of street drinking and drug use already experienced around the area and in the nearby park.

One resident Hollie Price said Taylors had already been selling alcohol within the hampers without a licence and raised these concerns at committee.

But Adrian Curtis, representing Mr Stanton, said the alcohol contained in those hampers had been sold through the nearby Spar shop on Queslett Road – which has a 24 hour licence and is also run by his client.

He added one of many conditions agreed with the police was that Taylors would not open beyond 6pm – despite the licence permitting alcohol sales until midnight.

Mr Stanton said the licence would enable them to take online orders for delivery beyond 6pm.

Mr Curtis said: “There is an allegation against my client that criminal offences have taken place by selling alcohol without a licence.

“That is vehemently denied. They have not sold alcohol from these premises at any time.

“The Spar on Queslett Road is their business where they have a 24-hour licence – any alcohol going into hampers have been sold via those premises.

“It’s a very serious allegation. The illegal selling of alcohol is subject to a £20,000 fine and or a six months in prison.

“My client is an extremely experienced retail licensee and have two other shops which are licensed and there have been no allegations of anything going wrong at those premises.

“There is a specific condition agreed with West Midlands Police that sales of alcohol cannot take place after 6pm.

“It really is so the business can operate effectively and they are not having to blend one business into the other.

“Some of the representations have indicated anti-social behaviour in the area – people are talking about silver cannisters and 40 bottles of alcohol littering the park nearby, someone has mentioned drug use and proxy sales of alcohol.

“It’s a gift shop. They are not selling a four pack of lager. The items they sell are not the sort people would go and sit in the park and drink.

“They do seem to be blaming my client for things at the moment when he is not doing it and also trying to lump all the potential problems on to the fact if he sells alcohol from his shop.

“We do not agree with this and importantly the police do not agree with this either.”

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