Fairfield store granted alcohol licence

By Nick Tyrrell, Local Democracy Reporter

(Representational Image. Photo: iStock)

Plans for a new off licence in Fairfield have been approved despite claims from ward councillors that it will increase problems with street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Easy Go Convenience, at 182 Prescot Road, can now sell alcohol until 11pm seven days a week after the council’s licensing and gambling sub-committee backed the proposals.

However, members did order the owners to shift its opening time to later in the morning so that alcohol would not be sold at a time when children were on their way to school.

A representative for Easy Go’s owners said the shop had been a “well established family run business for many years”.

He added that there were no other shops that sold alcohol nearby, meaning that it was unlikely there would be an oversaturation of licensed premises in the area.

However, speaking on behalf of the area’s three elected members, councillor Liam Robinson said neighbours had complained to them about the plans and raised concerns about anti social behaviour and crime.

He said: “There is an issue with youths congregating at Newsham Park nearby and we have a number of supported living facilities in the area, supported living premises for those with alcohol dependencies.

“In particular, because those premises are dry, there is the issue of people staying there looking to buy alcohol nearby.”

Councillor Robinson said street drinking was a continued issue in the area, with a police order banning the practice having been extended recently.

In a response, the shop’s representative said police data did not show a significantly higher level of crime or anti social behaviour and said the shop’s owners had a record of running responsible businesses in the city.

He said: “There is nothing in the statement from the ward councillors that challenges or criticises, in any way, the premises, the applicant or the designated premises supervisor.”

The sub-committee granted the application after a period of deliberations.

However, a proposed start time of 8am for alcohol sales was shifted back to 9am to ensure it did not overlap with when children were making their way to the nearby Academy of St Francis of Assisi school.