Audenshaw petrol station given alcohol licence after 24 hour plans dropped

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter

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Audenshaw Service Station. Photo: Google Maps

An Audenshaw petrol station has been given a licence to sell alcohol after plans for a 24-hour licence were dropped.

Audenshaw Service Station on Droylsden Road has been given permission by the council to sell alcohol up until 11pm seven days a week.

The original application from Retail Fuel Limited for a new premises licence had proposed supply of alcohol 24 hours a day, and late night refreshment – the sale of hot food or drink – from 11pm to 5am.

However following representations from the council and police, the company agreed to amend the application to alcohol sales between 6am and 11pm, Monday to Sunday, and withdrew the late night refreshment plans.

PC Martin Thorley told a meeting of the licensing panel: “Greater Manchester Police really were concerned.

“Having had previous experience of working in that area as a neighbourhood officer I’m aware of the tensions in the area and concerns in the area.

“With it not being an off licence at the moment I haven’t been aware of groups gathering drinking in the street and there have been no serious incidents that I’m aware of.

“Given the reduction in the hours and no late night refreshment I’m satisfied with that side of the agreement and the licence to be granted.”

However speaking against the application, Councillor David Mills said the ward councillors continued to have issues with the application.

The meeting had been told that Tameside has the country’s eighth highest alcohol-related death rate.

“In the area surrounding this shop we just feel there is already an oversaturated number of licensed premises and to add to this would be irresponsible,” Cllr Mills said.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, solicitor Robert Botkai said: “There will be a locally based DPS (designated premises supervisor) before we sell alcohol. The police are satisfied with the application.

“It’s a stretch to say that it’s going to become a destination venue for the wider area.

“I’m not trying to belittle the problems there may be in the wider area with alcohol but in terms of this application and the potential contribution that granting this licence would make to that problem, it would be extremely difficult to find evidence of a link between the addition of a small off-licence to this area and the public health.

“Councillor Mills clearly doesn’t like the idea of a small shop having a licence whereas in fact a small shop having a licence can have much less of an impact on an area than a pub with a licence or a large shop with a licence.

“We are small, it’s easier to supervise, harder to steal from, we’re better covered by CCTV and we ensure all the staff are properly trained at all times.”

The application was granted subject to a number of additional conditions on the licence, including three-monthly training for staff and the requirement to join a local pubwatch or similar group.

Committee chair David Sweeton said these were a ‘proportionate response’ to the issues that had been raised.