Kent store seeks to extend hours after rival wins licence extension

By Katie May Nelson, Local Democracy Reporter

Kings Food and Wine, King Street, Gravesend. (Photo: Google Streetview via LDRS)

Concerns have been raised by the police after a town centre off licence applied to sell alcohol into the early hours on weekends.

Licensee Ismail Bozdag wants to sell booze until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays at Kings Food and Wine in King Street, Gravesend.

He had applied to Gravesham Borough Council to vary his licence to sell alcohol to between 8am and midnight for the rest of the week.

Bozdag expressed frustration regarding a neighbouring rival business which had been granted a similar licence only months before and said this was the reason for his request.

His agent, Graham Hopkins, said methods to mitigate the risk associated by people buying alcohol late at night would be employed, including taking on door staff to work during the shifts on the weekends.

But both Kent Police and the council’s Environmental Protection Team said they had concerns about the impact the granting of the licence could have on alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and people loitering outside the shop which could disturb nearby residents at night.

PC Daniel Hunt explained although the force had not objected to the other shop’s extension of a licence to sell alcohol until 2am on weekends, he said: “We can confirm there is a clear change of dynamic within the town centre between the late evening and the early hours.”

The council’s Licensing Panel – who met virtually on Wednesday, April 28 – adjourned to make a decision on the application.