A shop’s bid to open until late at weekends sparked an outcry from neighbours worried about noise, crime and anti-social behaviour.

The owner of Shopoint, in The Green, Winchmore Hill, applied to extend the store’s opening hours and sell alcohol until 1am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Shopoint currently shuts its doors at 11pm every day of the week.

Halit Ertas – who was speaking on behalf of the applicant, Barbaros Yener – told councillors at a licensing committee on Wednesday (May 15) that extending the opening hours would help the “struggling” business and meet demand from people looking to buy goods late at night.

But 17 people living nearby wrote in to object, claiming the longer opening hours would ruin their peace and quiet.

Many of them feared a return of the problems they had experienced when the shop was a branch of the Costcutter chain, which had been allowed to open late.

Mr Ertas said Shopoint was “struggling financially” after a “£10,000 increase in rent last year”.

He added that some of the complaints seemed exaggerated and pointed out they were related to Costcutter, which “did a really bad job” in the past.

Mr Ertas said: “There are a lot of people asking for some shop to be open late in this area. There is nowhere within a walkable distance.

“If you need to buy milk at 12am or 12.30am or if you need to buy wine, you need to take a car.

“There are some people asking us ‘please do it – open it a little bit later’, but they are not shown here.”

But committee chair Cllr Chris Bond pointed out that the applicant had not presented a petition or any other evidence that people wanted the shop to open late.

Cllr Tolga Aramaz, Labour member for Edmonton Green, said an inspection in April this year found the shop was in breach of several licensing conditions.

These included a failure to prompt staff to ask for ID when selling alcohol and other restricted products, and training records not being updated every three months.

Mr Yener and Mr Ertas apologised and gave assurances the issues had been dealt with and the shop would continue to comply with licensing conditions.

Speaking on behalf of residents, Conservative Winchmore Hill councillor Cllr Maria Alexandrou said: “When the shop was previously allowed to sell alcohol very late, this created many anti-social behaviour problems.

“People were hanging around creating a disturbance in groups, using the alleyway behind the shop as a public toilet; needles and drug paraphernalia were found on the green.”

Cllr Alexandrou added that there had been “shouting, people playing loud music, fights, attempted burglaries and people smoking cannabis”.

She said that since the licence had been changed to 11pm, these problems had stopped – and neighbours did not want them to return.

The committee refused the bid to open until 1am but allowed the shop to extend its opening hours and sell alcohol until 12am on each of the days.

Cllr Bond said: “Local residents will be watching you like a hawk.”

  • Editor's note: Costcutter contacted us after publication to point out each of their shops is owned by an independent retailer operating under the franchise Costcutter brand.