Councillor's concern over application for new Co-op store in Brixworth to sell alcohol 6am-11pm

"Brixworth has suffered from examples of anti-social behaviour in recent times"

Friday, 9th July 2021, 5:11 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 5:12 pm
The old Red Lion Inn on Harborough Road, Brixworth. Photo: Google

A councillor has written to West Northamptonshire Council's licensing department raising his concern about an application for a new store in Brixworth to sell alcohol from 6am to 11pm daily.

Councillor Jonathan Harris stated in his letter that "Brixworth has suffered from examples of anti-social behaviour in recent times and extending the hours available to sell alcohol will only compound the issue further."

West Northamptonshire Council's Licensing sub committee is due to meet on Wednesday (July 14 ) to discuss the application for the new Co-op store in Harborough Road.

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The committee will consider an application for licensable activities at the store to be open between 06:00hrs and 23:00hrs daily and supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises only, between 06:00hrs and 23:00hrs daily.

The new store is being built at the site of the former Red Lion Hotel.

In November last year, the Planning Inspectorate allowed the Co-Op Group's appeal against Daventry District Council's second rejection of the proposal for the store five months earlier.

Two representations were made to the council, one from councillor Jonathan Harris and one from a member of the public.

In his letter, Mr Harris, who reprsents Brixworth on WN Council, states: "The existing Co-Op has existed perfectly well with a licence to serve alcohol between 7am and 10pm for many years to match the current store's opening hours.

"There is absolutely no reason for an extension to these hours of 6am to 11pm being granted.

"While this store will be sited on the land of the former Red Lion public house, the store will inevitably be far busier than the public house, which was largely a walk-to destination.

"Brixworth has suffered from examples of anti-social behaviour in recent times and extending the hours available to sell alcohol will only compound the issue further."

In the letter from the member of the public, it states: "Brixworth has suffered from anti-social behaviour recently and providing a licence for these times would only compound the issue.

"The Red Lion site is located between two public houses and adding extended hours to 11pm only encourages the purchasing of alcohol and encourages anti-social behaviour."

The licensing officer's statment to the committee states: 'The applicant is applying for a new premises licence for sale of alcohol in the convenience store, for consumption off the premises.

'If approved, the licence would enable customers to purchase alcohol between 6:00hrs and 23:00hrs daily.

'It is not unusual for a shop of this type to apply for hours of this length, in a large or small village or town setting, right next to residential properties.

'This is not the longest opening hours we have in the district for a convenience store, there are some that start even earlier in the morning.

'Each case is dealt with on its own merits. The building has been sat empty for a few years and is now being demolished, and construction of a new retail unit is under way.

'It was previously the Red Lion hotel and public house. Planning permission was approved by an inspector in 2020 on appeal, as the council originally refused the change from a pub to a shop, mainly due to consideration of the conservation area and plans.

'The representations we received were in relation to potential anti-social behaviour, length of opening hours and potential safety concerns with lack of parking available.'