Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Strict rules for new Foodmarket off licence

Mr Iqbal’s application for an off-licence has been approved – but with strict conditions. He plans to open his new ‘Foodmarket’ in Bohemia Road, at the Lullabuys site, by mid-December and had applied for a licence to sell alcohol. Not everyone in the area is happy about this: altogether six representations and one petition of 16 identical letters were received by Hastings Borough Council’s Licencing Committee, the body which rules on such applications. Despite the objections concerning public nuisance and crime and disorder, and Sussex Police speaking against the application, it was, in the end, granted.  
  Although Mr Iqbal got his licence, he will have to comply with quite strict conditions. He must keep a ‘refusals register’, in which details all refusals of purchase will be recorded. He must install a closed circuit TV system and an alarm with a panic button. Two staff must be present after 5pm. All staff must be trained in dealing with drunk, violent or disorderly customers. Only beers, lagers and ciders with an alcohol content of less than 6% may be sold.
What does Mr Iqbal think of all these strictures? “There’s nothing new here. These conditions have been in place for the last three years. I’m perfectly happy with them.” he said. What is the idea of the ‘refusals register’? “That is kept, along with CCTV recordings, so that the police can prove that a certain person was not served in the shop.” Will the 6% limit affect his trade? “No, I don’t want to sell White Cider to winos, I want to sell to family people with children – who will be my customers in the future.”
 What’s the latest position regarding his application for a Post Office counter? “I’ve been told verbally that I won’t get it, but I’ve got nothing in writing yet.”

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