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    Appeal lodged over Middlesbrough corner shop’s licence cancellation

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    Owners of a Middlesbrough corner shop, that was blamed for alcohol-related disorder in the area, are appealing a decision to cancel the store’s premises licence.

    According to local reports, Cleveland Police requested a review of the licence to sell alcohol at A.J’s Convenience Store amid claims of “non compliance with conditions”. Officers said the area around the store on Crescent Road in Gresham suffers “high levels” of alcohol-related crime, with operations at the shop reportedly “adding to the problems”.

    Following a meeting in February, a licensing sub committee meeting of Middlesbrough Council revoked the licence and an appeal has now been lodged against the decision. The application at Teesside Magistrates’ Court was adjourned on Tuesday and a trial date was set for October 3.

    The premises licence holder Savior Selvaras Tharmeswaran has appealed against the council’s move saying the decision should focus on steps to resolve the problem rather than stripping the licence which would force the shop to close.

    However the committee was also told how, up to the date of the review, the premises was operating “illegally as a result of non-compliance with the licensing conditions”. It was claimed the shop was an “irresponsible retailer”, selling high strength single cans of beer, cider and lager and high strength bottes of cider – the main source of crime and disorder, said police.

     Tim Hodgkinson, public protection manager on behalf of Middlesbrough Council, said the local authority also had “serious concerns” surrounding the operation of the shop and the sale of “cheap, high strength alcohol to vulnerable adults”.

    The committee said its decision was “appropriate” to promote public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. The Local Democracy Reporting Service has approached the store for comment.

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