Police bid to ban new off licence in Wisbech

Wisbech Off Licenses. 108 Norfolk street, License applied for. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech Off Licenses. 108 Norfolk street, License applied for. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Police will appeal to a council meeting on Monday to halt a new off licence in Wisbech which would open “within mere moments’ walk” from FIVE others.

“This shop will sit in an area where street drinking is prolific and of public concern,” says PC Phil Richardson, alcohol licensing officer for Fenland.

“It is almost equidistant from Tillery Park where numbers of complaints come through all year regarding street drinking in public.”

He says it is also near to where people sit in St Peter and St Paul churchyard “which frequently has street drinkers drinking from cans and bottles obtained from local off licenses. It is a concern to the town’s populace”.

PC Richardson will argue his case to stop an application by Dedde Ltd for an office licence at 108 Norfolk Street.

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Police says the five nearby off sales shops are at:

•95 Norfolk Street

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•30 Norfolk Street

•11 Norfolk Street

•44 West Street

•21 High Street

The issue will be determined by the licensing committee of Fenland Council.

Police will rely on a cumulative impact policy which assesses how off licences can affect a community if there are too many in one area.

PC Richardson will remind the committee that the council policy contains a “rebuttal presumptive” to refuse new applications if representations are made and the applicant hasn’t produced sufficient evidence to rebut the police objections.

He said he did not feel the applicant had addressed the licensing objectives and had made “no reference as to how they will protect children from harm; this is an issue which must be addressed”.

In the nearby “pub cluster” he said there were 184 incidents in 2013/14 of alcohol related violence against the person.

PC Richardson said residents remained “concerned by the proliferation of alcohol venues and street drinking”.

Deddes insists it staff has been trained, it has CCTV in place, and will work towards reduce crime and disorder.

It says it is a small, mainly organic, food store selling locally produced ales rather than spirits.

“We only produce cardboard rubbish – no noisy rubbish,” it says in its application.

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