UEA shop gets permission to sell alcohol until 3am

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The UEA applied to extend the times it could sell alcohol from its university shop - Credit: Archant

A university shop has been granted permission to sell alcohol to students until 3am, despite concerns it could lead to antisocial behaviour.

The Shop in University Plain at the UEA sought to increase their licence hours from midnight to 3am every day.

Norfolk Constabulary initially objected to the plans over fears the shop could become a flashpoint for drinking when people leave the nearby LCR venue.

This was withdrawn after discussions with the applicant, who said they would have a security team available to assist staff, and that the shop would stop serving at the same time the LCR closes.

However, Simon Joseph, who lives nearby, raised concerns that the extended licence would attract more people to the campus, increasing crime and disorder. 

The hall, which is used by Norwich City Council, is another one of the Norwich 12

The application was heard by Norwich City Council's licensing committee on Thursday - Credit: Abigail Nicholsom

In a letter to the licensing team at Norwich City Council, he said: “The UEA already hold events midweek that cause me a lot of sleepless nights, people walking and talking loudly and worse at 2 – 3am. 

“Litter has increased, including broken bottles etc. If you ring [the UEA] they take your details but never never get back to you. They are irresponsible neighbours.” 

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Speaking at a licensing meeting on Thursday Mr Joseph also questioned why students, who should be studying, needed alcohol at 3am on a weekday and raised concerns about the impact of alcohol on teen suicide nationally.

Phil Steele, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said they wanted the extended hours to address concerns like Mr Joseph’s.

He said: “I’m hopeful that actually, an approval for this change to our licence would safeguard Mr Joseph’s concerns because it avoids the need for students to travel off-campus late at night.” 

Ian Stutely, Labour city councillor for Town Close. Pic: Labour Party.

Ian Stutely, chairman of the licensing committee said the extended hours may reduce disorder in the community - Credit: Labour Party

He told the committee students currently have to leave the campus to go to the Fiveways petrol station on Earlham Green Lane, which has a 24-hour licence.

The application was unanimously approved by the committee.

Chairman Ian Stutely acknowledge the existing issues in the area but said: “The committee does not believe they will be increased as a result of this application and they may even be improved in certain aspects.”