Beer at the pumps: Fenland petrol station wins 24-hour alcohol licence despite neighbours’ objections

A FENLAND petrol station has won the right to sell alcohol 24 hours a day despite complaints from neighbours who claimed it would affect their quality of life.

Pace Petroleum, in Dartford Road, March, was granted permission to sell alcohol round the clock at a Fenland District Council Licensing Committee hearing yesterday.

David Lyons, who lives nearby, had objected to the application by insisting it was unnecessary to have another outlet for alcohol. He said: “We would hate for the sake of the garage making extra profit that our quality of life living next door would be overlooked and disregarded.”

Mr Lyons claimed he had been disturbed by late-night noise from the garage in the past and, in one incident, his wife had been “round to the forecourt in the middle of the night to break up a fight.

“Introducing alcohol to the situations that sometimes arise would surely make matters a lot worse,” he said. “We have two young children to consider and their sleep should not be compromised.”

Mr Lyons also expressed concerns that the licence would create more litter. “We already pick up a lot from our driveway and garden on a daily basis and do not want this to be added to with bottles and cans.”

The licensing committee, chaired by Councillor Carol Cox, commended the “strong management systems” which have been introduced to control sales at the garage.

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The 24-hour licence was granted with a series of conditions. The CCTV system must be upgraded to cover the night hatch, the front of the premises and cash machine and the rear of the premises including the car wash.

All sales of alcohol, hot food and beverages between 11pm-5am must take place at the night hatch and the door to the premises will remain locked to customers.

In 2010, nearly half of the petrol station’s customers used it as a shop, which sells fresh and snack foods, groceries, confectionery, drinks and tobacco. Around a third of customers bought fuel alone.

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