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Unthank Road Tesco's alcohol bid

PUBLISHED: 18:00 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:11 01 July 2010

Campaigners are hoping to stop a controversial new Tesco store in Norwich from being granted a licence to sell alcohol.

Campaigners are hoping to stop a controversial new Tesco store in Norwich from being granted a licence to sell alcohol.

The supermarket giant, which won a long-running battle to open the store in Unthank Road, has asked Norwich City Council for permission to sell alcohol between 6am and 11pm seven days a week.

But families have written to City Hall to call for the licence to be turned down, saying that it would lead to anti-social behaviour and noise late at night.

Seven letters of objection have been received, the majority from families living in Trinity Street, the street next to the store.

Joel Rodker said: “Anti-social behaviour on the surrounding streets will be increased. The sale of alcohol will encourage intimidating groups of people to assemble.”

Melody Wright said: “Tesco claims to be working for the community. Real community support would be not to sell alcohol at all.”

Norfolk police have not made any representations on the licensing application, while Tesco says it would have CCTV in the store and that people selling alcohol would be properly trained on licensing issues, including the corporate Think 25 policy, where people are asked to provide proof of age before drink is sold to them.

The store, which is fast taking shape on the site of a former petrol station after work started on it in May, is due to open next month.

However, it was only given planning permission after Tesco launched a planning appeal after four applications were turned down by members of the city council planning committee.

A planning inspector was not convinced at the arguments used to refuse permission - saying he did not think the new store would lead to traffic problems in the street.

The supermarket will be hoping for more luck than it had at two similarly controversial Tesco stores in Cambridge, which last year failed to secure alcohol licences.

Protesters had lost their battle to stop the stores in Mill Road and East Road from opening, but council licensing chiefs refused permission for them to serve alcohol.

The city council rejected the licences because they were in what are known as “cumulative impact areas”, where there is a presumption against granting new licences.

The police were also against the licences being awarded. Tesco failed in an appeal over the Mill Road store and elected not to appeal the East Road decision.

Norwich City Council's licensing sub-committee will make a decision on whether the Unthank Road store should be granted permission to sell alcohol when it meets next Wednesday.

Do you think the new Tesco in Unthank Road should be allowed to sell alcohol? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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