Plymouth residents' petition says 'No' to third off-licence
A PETITION aimed at preventing a third off-licence from setting up shop in West Park has been handed over to local councillors.
Local resident and convenience store boss Phil Millar started the petition when he saw a sign in next door's former ABC Meats store.
Either side of the vacant former butchers in Crownhill Road are already licensed stores, with a takeaway opposite that is also licensed to sell alcohol.
Now the Bargain Booze chain is eyeing the old butcher's unit with its own plans to move in.
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Speaking after collecting more than 500 signatures against the plans, Mr Millar said: "We started a petition as we don't want a third off-licence here.
"It's already an area that has anti-social behaviour so we started the petition and handed it to the councillors.
"We can't see the need for another licensed premises on top of the two already there.
"We've only had the petition going for a week but it's still ongoing now.
"A new one across the road opened last year, a takeaway, but it is still licensed to sell alcohol.
"So now everyone is really cheesed off about it."
A sign went up in the shop window about two weeks ago advising residents of the plans.
Residents joined Mr Millar in handing over the petition to Councillor Nicky Williams and Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith, who both represent Honicknowle . Cllr Williams said: "I have to say I'm really concerned about the application.
"It will mean there are three off-licences in a row and it's right in the middle of a residential area.
"There have already been problems with young people hanging around outside the shops trying to get older people to buy alcohol for them.
"There's a children's centre only across the road and I think in an area that is already known to have mild deprivation it sends out completely the wrong message.
"We don't want West Park to be known as the place to buy bargain booze so we fully support the residents and we want as many people to write in and object as possible."
Mr Millar added: "What we are against is the cheap beer thing.
"With three off-licences there will be a lot of cheap drink available – the shops will be slashing their prices in competition with each other and we don't want the children in the area getting their hands on it.
"My family has had the West Park Wines and Spirits for the last 20 years and it's more of a community shop now.
"I haven't seen three off-licences this close together anywhere in Plymouth; in fact I've not seen it anywhere I've ever been."
A spokeswoman for Bargain Booze said the company was not aware of a petition against the shop but because they were a franchise-based group she said they did not wish to comment further on the matter.
The application can be viewed and comments made on the proposal by visiting https://licensing.plymouth.gov.uk/protected/wca/publicRegisterLicActPremisesLevel1.jsp.