Green light for Savers in Wisbech to sell alcohol - but Fenland councillors impose strict conditions

DISCOUNT toiletries store Savers has been granted a licence to sell alcohol in Wisbech - but with strict conditions.

The market place shop was granted a licence despite fears from two complainants that it would increase anti-social behaviour in the town.

One insisted her “elderly acquaintances” were already “nervous to walk at night”, preferring to take a “taxi the short distance home from the bus station to avoid possible confrontation”.

The other said the area’s police and hospital staff were already “overstretched” in dealing with alcohol-related injuries and assaults.

However, Councillor Kay Mayor said at Tuesday’s meeting of Fenland District Council’s licensing committee, said: “We note and share those concerns with regard to the effect on police and NHS resources and the environment of Wisbech town centre.

“However, these concerns should properly be dealt with in another place. We were however reassured by the presentation given by Savers who we note are a well established organisation and are taking their responsibilities seriously.”

Sgt Dave Bax had recommended the refusal of the application due to concerns about “the number of off-licensed premises within such a small area”.

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He said if the licensing committee were “mindful to grant it, perhaps there should be a message that this is not yet another off-licensed premises designed to feed public drinking.”

The town centre already has 26 off-licensed premises within a 1.5-square mile area, with a number of on-licenses too.

The shop is also situated in one of the Wisbech wards (Medworth) with the highest number of anti-social behaviour calls for rowdy nuisance (496) in the last 12 months.