Alcohol plan at former takeaway ‘unforgiveable’ claim Gateacre residents

A proposal to grant an alcohol licence at a former Chinese takeaway in Gateacre has been met with horror by concerned villagers.

A bid has been lodged with Liverpool Council by Antany Jayaseelan Mariyathas to transform the former Happy Family takeaway into a convenience store. Mr Mariyathas is seeking permission to trade alcohol from 6am to midnight daily.

This has caused much consternation in the community, with more than a dozen objections including the Gateacre Society and residents making their feelings known.

The application, received last month, seeks consent from Liverpool Council’s licensing and gambling sub-committee to open up the business on Grange Lane for 18 hours a day, seven days a week. The building, formerly a takeaway, would be repurposed into a general convenience store with alcohol sales part of the trade if approved.

However, this has not been welcomed warmly by respondents to the plans in south Liverpool. One person wrote how the village did not need another store of its kind given the availability of others in the locality.

They added, “Having another store that opens till very late will attract drugs, gangs and violence to the area especially the alley way situated behind the shops where there are stairs leading to residential apartments that young professionals and families live. This area is quiet and respectable at the moment and we do not want any trouble on our doorsteps.”

Further issues were raised by the Gateacre Society in their own representation. Representatives said the site was in the heart of the village conservation area and late-night activity had previously caused problems to residents including fights and vandalism.

The presence of a second shop in the village was also questioned by society officials, who suggested it could be “detrimental to an existing convenience store at the other end of the block which appears to be a thriving local business.” The submission added, “We take our conservation seriously in Gateacre Village, we are proud of our village atmosphere, we cherish our buildings and our village green and it is for these reasons we ask for reasonable hours be considered by the authority.”

One of the objectors also said the hours proposed by the shop would be “completely out of character” for the village and such a business would attract disorder to Gateacre. Fears were raised that the business may also force out residents from a popular seated area as those seeking to drink in a secluded spot would “dominate” the space.

The representation said, “This means the local community is pushed out of our own community seating area and that is heartbreaking and unforgivable,” adding: “The area has been vibrant and survived for many years with an already existing convenience store that closes at a respectable hour of 8pm. 

“For this proposed business to be open during such antisocial hours, is unforgivable.”

The plans will be considered by the local authority on 27 February.

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