Residents are worried a new convenience store could attract anti-social drunk gangs.
One Stop has submitted a planning application to Middlesbrough Council to install an air conditioning unit and a new delivery ramp at the back of a new store at 15 Shelton Court. Three neighbours have objected to the plans and people have also signed a petition.
The application will be discussed at a planning committee meeting this Friday, 11 November.
Council officers have recommended that politicians approve the proposals.
The convenience store in Thorntree was granted an alcohol licence in September, despite fears of anti-social behaviour from residents. At the licensing hearing, both Cllr Janet Thompson and Cllr Graham Wilson, who represent Brambles and Thorntree, spoke out against the proposed store that could appear in their ward.
Mr Abbas, who has owned Charlie’s mini-market at Shelton Court for the past 20 years, organised a petition against the new shop. At the licensing hearing, he said he did not believe a new store should be allowed to sell alcohol, as he claimed trouble is currently avoided because he is a part of the community and knows who not to sell to, which he didn’t think would be the case at One Stop.
Nicola Smith, who represented One Stop at the licensing committee, said staff are trained to deal with nuisance behaviour, good-quality CCTV would be installed and the shop would work closely with Cleveland Police. Ms Smith added: “We do not consider there is sufficient evidence that granting this licence will add to existing situations of anti-social behaviour.”
Now, objections to the new proposals at the former dentist have been submitted ahead of the planning hearing. Mr Abbas has once again raised his concerns about the new store.
He said: “The area has sufficient retail outlets to adequately provide a service to the community and has done successfully for a number of years. Inevitably some all the businesses will close down which will mean more people will lose their jobs rather than jobs created.”
He goes on to add: “Refuse bins will be needed for this establishment. There is no doubt that these bins will be lit on fire as this is the norm for this area. If they are not lit on fire they will be scattered around the area making it unclean and unsafe. The litter of the bins will attract vermin, cats and dogs again making the area more unclean.”
Another person was concerned about anti-social behaviour. They said: “We fear gangs full of alcohol would congregate out the back of our houses. Nobody in the vicinity wants a One Stop store round here we have a Sainsburys/Bells very nearby. I suggest the committee One Stop it now.”
They added that even though staff will be trained to deal with unruly customers, they could be armed with batons and it would not make any difference. However, the council is not able to stop the proposed retail use as it does not require planning approval – it will only be allowed to decide on the air conditioning units and the delivery ramp.
Environmental protection did not raise any objections as long as the deliveries and bin collections were between 8am and 7pm Monday to Saturday and between 9:30am and 6:30pm on Sundays.
One Stop has been contacted for comment.