Police 'concerns' as Wolverhampton service station applies for late night alcohol license

A service station convenience store in Wolverhampton has applied to the council for longer opening hours and extended alcohol sales – sparking "concerns" from police and licensing bosses.

Blakenhall Services have also recently gained a reputation for cutting fuel prices.
Blakenhall Services have also recently gained a reputation for cutting fuel prices.

The shop, at the Blakenhall Service Station on Dudley Road, Blakenhall, is located opposite Phoenix Park – an area notoriously plagued by incidents of booze-fuelled crime, noise and disruption.

It falls within a Cumulative Impact Area (CIZ) – a designated zone where the number, type or density of licensed premises has impacted adversely on the licensing objectives of crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

The application has been made by Davinder Talwar, director of Rondel Trading Ltd. At present the store opens from 6am to 11pm seven days a week and is licensed to sell alcohol off the premises from 11am.

Mr Talwar has applied to open 24 hours a day from Tuesday to Saturday, with sales of alcohol from 10am to 2am and 10am to 11.30pm on Sunday.

In a letter to licensing chiefs, Councillor Paul Birch (Lab. Blakenhall) said: “We have to weigh up the reasoning behind why an extension to sell alcohol until this time serves the public. There is a problem with outdoor drinking at the entrance to Phoenix park, which lies directly opposite the garage.

“If we are okay with people drinking late into the early hours, then let the licence pass. But I can’t think of any legitimate reasons for such an extension. Surely anyone wanting to buy alcohol will know their needs earlier than 11pm?

“I can’t think of all the negative consequences that might arise from allowing an extension. By the same token, I can’t think of any reason to grant the extension.

“Also, I can’t think of other establishments retailing liquor at this time and I am struggling to think of any positive benefits – only the downside to anti-social behaviour,” he added.

“For these reasons, and because for other commercial businesses selling alcohol is restricted to normal licensing times, I object to this application and I recommend the committee reject it.”

In further written correspondence, West Midlands Police’s licensing and regulatory officer Aimee Taylor said: “We have got concerns around this premises supplying alcohol until 2am. It is situated within the CIZ and I believe allowing the premises to supply alcohol until 2am will have an impact on the zone and surrounding area.”

Amitabh Singh, the council’s licensing section leader, added: “The premises application was previously subject to a licensing hearing on December 7, 2021, whereupon the licensing sub-committee attached the following condition to the granting of the licence – that the supply of alcohol shall only take place between the hours of 11am and 11pm.

“We will not be looking to mediate the variation application submitted as this is a matter for members of the committee to reconsider.”

Licensing bosses will discuss the application next Thursday (August 18). The applicant, the applicant’s agent and all those who have submitted representations have been invited to attend the hearing.

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