Fears mini supermarket near to Northampton homeless centre could lead to street drinking rise

A licensing hearing will be held to determine whether a new store in Wellington Place, Barrack Road, can serve alcohol.
A licensing hearing will be held to determine whether a new store in Wellington Place, Barrack Road, can serve alcohol.

Plans to open a mini-supermarket near a homeless centre in Northampton have been hit with objections, after fears it will lead to an increase in street drinking.

Kastytis Nauburys wants to open Little Europe International Supermarket in Wellington Place along the Barrack Road with a licence to sell alcohol between 7am and midnight every day. The premises used to be a halal butchers.

But businesses nearby fear the move will lead to a rise in street drinking as the shop sits close to the Hope Centre in Campbell Street, an organisation which provides support to homeless people in Northampton and helps many to overcome alcohol addictions.

The area around Barrack Road is also a designated alcohol free zone.

Director of Glass Northampton, Charles Brown, said: “I would be totally against this bearing in mind this is an alcohol free area.

“I understand the Hope Centre is re-opening in Ash Street with more people about, with more alcohol available I feel this would be a backward step for people living and working in the area.”

The plan to sell alcohol has also drawn concern from the Northampton Association for the Accommodation of the Single Homeless (NAASH) based at the Hope Centre.

Service manager Theresa Kelly, said in an objection submitted to Northamptonshire Police: “The project I manage support in is has a high number of customers who misuse alcohol and have very serious issues with it.

“Our project is literally a two minute walk from the proposed off-licence.

“At present it is hard to support people with their recovery due to the local shops providing a never ending stream of alcohol to anyone.

“The impact yet another off licence will have is likely to be detrimental to those in recovery. I have no doubt that it will also increase street drinking, yet again, of which we have just managed to reduce.”

Councillors on Northampton Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee will decide whether to grant the licence at a hearing on Friday, May 13.

The business owners will be able to make representations at the hearing.