Concerns over Hartlepool store’s bid to extend hours

By Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporter

Belle Vue Wines in Sydenham Road, Hartlepool. (Photo: Google Maps via LDRS)

Police have raised concerns over a Hartlepool store’s bid to extend the hours it can sell alcohol.

Bosses at Belle Vue Wines in Sydenham Road have submitted an application to vary their premises licence to allow them to sell alcohol for the extended hours of 7am until 11pm seven days a week.

Currently the convenience store is licensed to do so from Monday to Friday 9am until 10pm and from 10am until 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The application for extended hours will go before Hartlepool Borough Council licensing sub-committee on Friday (January 21), due to concerns raised to the proposals by police.

A response from PC Clare Lawton, from the licensing support unit at Cleveland Police, said the worries come from both the rate of crimes in the area and findings of two visits to the store.

She said: “The area that this premise is situated in already suffers from high levels of crime and disorder and antisocial behaviour.

“During the visit it was discovered that the premise was not complying with the conditions imposed on its licence.

“The result of both these visits is deeply concerning to Cleveland Police, particularly given how challenging the area can be and the importance of abiding by conditions granted to support the licensing objectives.”

The statement reported two visits were carried out by police in December to gain more information in regards to the application.

On the second visit, it was “established that the DPS (designated premises supervisor) had a limited knowledge of the licensing act and wasn’t fully aware of the conditions on the premises licence”, according to the police statement.

The application for the extended hours, from Janarthani Paramesvaran at the store, states they are simply looking to extend their hours as soon as possible, with no objections submitted by residents to the move.

A report to go before the sub-committee notes the council’s licensing policy states shops will “in general be licensed to provide sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises at any time when the retail outlet is open for shopping”.

However it adds “licences for before 9am or after 10pm in residential areas will generally be refused.”

At the meeting, after hearing evidence submitted, councillors can choose to approve the application, either in its entirety or in part, with the possibility of adding further conditions, or reject it.