Store near Norwich nightlife hotspot given the right to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Concerned city centre residents have failed to stop a petrol station from selling alcohol 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Castle Service Station, in Rose Lane, today won the backing of Norwich City Council to extend its alcohol licence beyond its current 8am to 11pm restrictions.

Fears the plan could lead to an increase in noise, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the area were raised, with two residents and the nearby Steam Packet bar and restaurant lodging objections.

The objectors insisted people who had enjoyed a night out in nearby Prince of Wales Road could use the convenience store to keep buying alcohol once the bars and clubs had stopped serving.

Crown Road resident Justine Conway told today's licensing sub-committee hearing she was not convinced the shop could do much to stop people causing problems in the area once they had purchased alcohol.

Mrs Conway said she had no problems with the shop and accepted what life would be like living in the city centre before moving. But she said she was concerned allowing 24-hour access to alcohol was part of the 'gradual erosion' of residents' rights.

Mrs Conway said: 'I do feel as a city centre resident when trying to keep our lives normal it does seem we are constantly up against business and as private residents we are not taken very seriously.

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'A corner shop in Eaton or Sprowston will not be selling alcohol 24 hours a day but in the city centre it's deemed acceptable near club land.'

But David Hook, representing applicant Puvasingham Vaseeharan, said shop staff would continue using their instinct and judgement to refuse the sale of alcohol to anyone - regardless if it was because they were already drunk.

He said the owners wanted to maintain a friendly environment and it would be counter-productive to attract the wrong type of customer. Mr Hook said his client was willing to help residents if they were affected and yesterday's case of Wafou, in Prince of Wales Road, having its licence revoked showed what could happen if licence conditions were flouted.