4am alcohol licence would ‘damage health and safety’

Plans for a convenience store to serve alcohol until 4am on one of Liverpool’s most historic streets could increase issues with people’s health and safety, councillors have claimed.

A bid has been lodged with Liverpool Council’s licensing department for a premises licence at the former Cotton Box unit on Smithdown Road. Applicant Mustafa Salmo is seeking to open a new shop in the space and serve alcohol into the small hours.

However, the plans have been met with concern by elected officials around Smithdown, who claim the late hour could be damaging for community cohesion.

Mr Salmo has approached the local authority for fresh terms for the location, with an existing licence permitting the sale of alcohol from 7am to midnight. The applicant hopes to do so for an additional four hours.

This has been met with apprehension by councillors in surrounding wards, including cabinet member Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins. In a written representation alongside Labour colleagues Cllrs Jay Roberts and Jon Morris, they said such hours were not acceptable.

They wrote: “This premises is in a densely occupied residential area, with residents above, behind and opposite the premises. The availability to purchase alcohol so late at night in an area very well known to have high levels of anti-social behaviour and noise late at night will add to disorder here.

“This will add to strain on public services, council services, policing, due to increased anti-social behaviour.”

The members said residents’ health and “immediate safety” would be compromised by the late licence, especially young people who are “potentially vulnerable” given the high population of students locally. They added: “This premises is in a densely occupied residential area, with residents above, behind and opposite the premises.

“This includes families with children as well as elderly and vulnerable residents. All need their quality of life protecting and late night trading and sale of alcohol will add to disturbance in the area.”

An alternate terminal sales time of midnight has been proposed by the elected representatives which they claim would “help support people’s quality of life in the area being protected.” The proposals will be considered by Liverpool Council’s licensing and gambling sub-committee when it meets at Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday.

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