New Bognor shop can sell alcohol despite residents’ fears

RESIDENTS’ fears failed to stop alcohol being sold from a new Bognor Regis shop for 15 hours a day.

The worries about an increase in anti-social behaviour and street drinking if Sibel’s Mini Market was allowed to stock booze were not enough to stop councillors granting it a premises licence.

But the chairman of Arun District Council’s licensing sub-committee, Cllr Graham Tyler, told the small group of residents present their concerns about drunks and street drinking had been taken into account.

He said: “I would remind the applicant that we take all the licensing objectives very seriously.

“With that in mind, I would say to residents you can bring the matter back to this sub-committee if any evidence-based breaches occur.”

The sub-committee was held by Arun District Council last Friday after it received objections to Bulent Colak’s bid to sell alcohol from Sibel’s Mini Market which he will open 8am-11pm daily in a former shop in Hawthorn Road.

The protests were voiced by one of the residents’ town and district councillors, Roger Nash.

Cllr Nash (Lab) said: “There is a great deal of concern and worry within Bognor about the whole issue of alcohol and street drinking.

“I don’t have any problem with the shop being re-established, but without the alcohol licence.

“We do not need another licensed premises in a street where there are four other licensed premises within 300m.”

He was concerned the location of Sibel’s on its corner with Linden Road was on a route along which hundreds of school pupils walked daily.

Cllr Pat Dillon (Con), Bognor Regis Town Council planning and licensing committee’s chairman, also spoke for residents.

But Mr Colak, who works at two shops in Worthing, said he had never experienced any problems in the five years in which he had sold alcohol.

“I have never had any trouble with the police or the local area people in those five years.

“I believe I can take care of the kids and the street-drinkers as well,” he said.

His barrister, Elinor Hoile, said: “This will simply be another outlet for people to buy alcohol. It will not attract additional people buying more alcohol.”

Mr Colak would run a Challenge 25 scheme in selling alcohol.

This was among 30 conditions he had agreed for his premises licence. Others included a sales refusal book, 24 hour CCTV, an alarm system to the police and at least two members of staff on duty.