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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Middlesbrough community discount store granted alcohol licence but prevented from selling high-strength products.

A discount food store in the Longlands area of Middlesbrough has been given a licence for alcohol but can’t sell high-strength lagers and ciders.

Dart Foods, run by Mohammed Amjead Selim has been told they won’t be permitted to stock any beers, ciders of lagers of more than 6.5 per cent.

Mr Selim said he would not be selling it and didn’t have plans to stock cheap high-strength ciders either.

Cllr Ron Arundale who was Chairing the council licensing hearing explained: “The Committee has decided to grant the application on the conditions set out in the application.

“However, it will be subject to condition and the application being amended to cover super-strength lagers, ciders and beers.”

He also said no more than 10 per cent of the shop would be allowed to display alcohol. Mr Salim explained only five per cent of space would be taken up by alcohol products.

Cllr Arundale asked whether the store owner, who was permitted to temporarily sell alcohol in December and January, would be selling Carlsberg Special Brew as it has an ABV of 7.5 per cent.

Cllr Ron Arundale who chaired a special council licensing hearing image: gov.uk

He added: “These hardened drinkers will go out of the way to go to your store purely to access that kind of stuff. They probably wouldn’t buy anything else. At the end of the day, our duty is to protect the public.”

Mr Salim made it clear alcohol would be kept behind the counters so staff would physically have to hand them over to customers.

One objector, Satvir Singh wrote: “There are already so many shops in the area selling alcohol and I feel adding another one to the mix would have a huge impact on rising crime and disorder in the area.

“There is no need to have so many shops selling alcohol as we all know the crime and nuisance around Middlesbrough is horrendous partly due to the drunk and disorderly!”

Another objector known as S Coates, thought this would “create issues such as anti-social behaviour, and increase consumption of alcohol within locals in the area”.

Both individuals named other local shops selling alcohol including the Tesco Express, Longlands Convenience Store, and Low Cost Convenience Store.

There were no objections lodged to the application by Cleveland Police, public health, or the ward councillors.

Dart Foods, is one of 37 stores in the chain, with 10 more expected to open this year this year. The store  is currently open until 9pm but the licence will cover the store from 8am to 11pm to allow for flexibility in the future.

Cllr Arundale was joined on the hearing panel by Cllr Sheila Dean and Cllr Stephen Hill.

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