Wisbech doesn’t need any more off-licences, says police, trading standards and businesses after shop reapplies for alcohol licence

Proposed new off licence for Wisbech

Proposed new off licence for Wisbech - Credit: Archant

The police, trading standards, local businesses and health chiefs have hit out over a Wisbech supermarket’s application for an alcohol licence.

Neme Supermarket, on Lynn Road, has reapplied for a licence, despite being within the town’s Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) – an area which carries a “rebuttable presumption” against new licences.

Owner Ayad Ali Saide, who withdrew an application in August after it was found to “contain various errors of detail,” says that the sale of alcohol would only make up a “small part” of the business’ turnover and that “every precaution” has been taken to ensure its neighbours are not disturbed as a result of the sale of alcohol.

However, alcohol licensing officer PC Phil Richardson, senior Trading Standards officer Andrew Fayers, health chief Kate Parker and a number of nearby businesses have objected to the application, saying the town “does not need” more off-licences.

Ms Parker says it would “increase the issues facing the local community” and make it “more challenging” to achieve the objectives of the council’s Cumulative Impact Zone policy, which aims to reduce alcohol-related crime.

Her view is echoed by PC Richardson, who says the supermarket sits “equidistant” from three areas “heavily used” by street drinkers.

Nearby businesses have also raised their concerns, with staff at Frank’s Fish and Chips at 7 Lynn Road saying they have a “big problem with alcohol drinkers” at their shop, who they say are often “abusive” and “urinate against the wall.”

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Staff at Wisbech Day Nursery, just a few doors along from the supermarket, have also objected, saying there is “always problems” with “people drinking outside the nursery,” and that the problem of street drinking is “only going to get worse” if the licence is granted.

Fenland District Council’s licensing committee will make their decision on Monday (November 14).