A shop’s bid to expand has met with opposition from neighbours who fear children’s safety is being put at risk by street drinkers.

The owner of Seven Brothers mini-market plans to move into two more units next door to the current shop at 76 High Road, Tottenham.

The convenience store is currently allowed to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and owner Tacim Koca asked Haringey Council for a licence to cover the expanded business.

But several neighbours wrote to the council to object, claiming children going to and from school were being intimidated by people drinking in the street.

Others complained of noise, fights, people urinating in the street – and one resident said he had found drunk people sleeping in his garden.

The application was heard at a licensing sub-committee on Thursday (August 1).

One resident of nearby Wargrave Avenue told the committee: “It has been cited numerous times children have gone on the road in order to avoid interaction with these people (street drinkers).

“Also, there have been gestures by these people openly trying to confront the children as well.

“One of the residents said that she saw one of the drunkards actually touch their child. It was very worrying, and it really sickened me that this was happening.”

Marlene D’Aguilar, public health officer for the council, said: “Haringey is already known as the worst London borough for hospital admissions for alcohol-related diseases.

“We believe the applicant needs to look at the volume of alcohol being sold on the premises.”

Ms D’Aguilar said there were several schools and nurseries, as well as two children’s centres, within 500 metres of the shop.

She said the council wanted alcohol sales to be restricted to between 8am and midnight, and for the shop to stop selling drinks stronger than 6.5 per cent alcohol by volume.

The owner, Mr Koca, told the committee he would agree for the new licence to limit alcohol sales to between 6am and 1am.

His co-worker added that they were doing everything they could to tackle problem behaviour in and just outside the shop, but they were limited by what they could see going on in the wider area.

Mr Koca said he wanted to sell more groceries and the proportion of the expanded shop given over to alcohol sales would be much smaller than it is currently.

Duncan Craig, a barrister representing the applicant, pointed out that there were other shops in the area selling alcohol.

Mr Craig said: “Within the representations that have been made (by neighbours), there is little or no reference to these premises.

“The representations made are in relation to street drinking more widely. That is something the responsible authorities, particularly the police and to some extent the council, have to take responsibility for as well.”

Mr Craig added that it would be “disproportionate and unfair” to penalise a lawfully run business because of these wider problems.

He noted that the Metropolitan Police had not objected to the application.

As well as reducing the times during which alcohol could be sold, the owner agreed to be bound by tougher, up-to-date licensing conditions – including keeping a logbook of the times staff had refused to sell alcohol.

After hearing the evidence, councillors will now decide whether to grant the licence in full or with extra conditions, exclude some licensable activities or reject the application.

Their decision will be posted on Haringey Council’s website within five working days.



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