A shop has been given permission to operate as an off licence despite residents’ objections about anti-social behaviour.
Durham County Council was asked to grant a licence for the Crook Convenience Store on North Terrace, Crook to sell alcohol between 7am and 11.30pm every day.
Owner Ravichandran Sivaguru, from Your Local Food and Wine Ltd, applied for the licence saying there would be 24-hour CCTV surveillance and records, crime prevention notices, well-trained staff and “prevention of overcrowding”.
The application said there would be “no bullying allowed in the premises”, nor would “playing/recording music” or “suspicious activities and concerns about possible sexual harassment”.
The council received two objections from local residents.
One said: “My street already suffers from anti-social behaviour such as car damage, rubbish on streets and people walking past being very noisy, also dog poo not getting picked up.
“If a shop is to open the hours proposed then this will magnify all this. We already see teens acting in an anti-social way dropping rubbish, swearing, damaging the grassed areas outside DCC (Durham County Council) building and throwing eggs and smashing windows. They will now move outside this shop.
“There is a nursery next door… if people are able to buy alcohol from 7 till 11.30 small children will see drunk people as well as people who swear a lot and drop rubbish.
“Why do we need another store offering more places to sell alcohol in a small town? I don’t understand why we have issues with young people causing havoc and the police have little to no powers to combat crime here.”
The other said: “Selling alcohol from as early as 7am I don’t think sets a good example where parents and toddlers are outside waiting to take their children into the nursery and collecting them.
“The town is already suffering from anti-social behaviour that been going on for years. Some of this is fuelled by drink.
“Within the last two years local children’s play parks have been littered with empty beer cans and bottles, this was down to youths and some on them been escorted home by the police.
“The youth also harass old and vulnerable asking them to buy them drink when going into stores. This is why a lot of pensioners don’t go into the town centre on a night as they feel threatened.
“I have concerns this will only add to the problems that we suffer in our town.
“This is just going to lead to another outlet where the youth can try and get alcohol from and intimidate shoppers to buy alcohol for them.”
After mediation with Durham Police’s licensed economy team, the applicant added conditions to the licensing application.
The new conditions included full registered staff training, the Challenge 25 scheme with a register of refusals, an incident book and installation of a CCTV system covering all public areas keeping recordings for at least 28 days.
The council’s environmental health and planning departments and the County Durham Fire and Rescue Service did not object to the application.
The application was considered at a licensing sub-committee meeting at County Hall.
It was granted with the conditions which were mediated with the police.