VOTE: Tesco faces opposition to around-the-clock alcohol sales

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Tesco wants to sell booze around the clock at its main store in Bognor Regis – prompting fears it will lead to violence and rowdy behaviour.

The company has applied for permission to be able to permanently serve customers with alcohol from midnight on Mondays to midnight on Saturdays at the Shripney Road outlet.

This will be in addition to the sales it can make during its limited opening on Sundays.

The retailer wants Arun District Council to remove the limit on alcohol sales on Fridays and Saturdays to between 6am and midnight.

But Roger Nash, chairman of Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Bognor, said the restriction should stay.

“By increasing their profit by getting this change, they may be causing more problems for the community,” he said.

He feared totally unlimited sales of beer, lager, wine and spirits could lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour and violence.

“There should be some restrictions on the sale of alcohol at Tesco,” he said.

“If people want to buy alcohol, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to be able to do that. I don’t see the reason for unrestricted sales 24 hours a day. I am sure Tesco will say they want to meet the demand of their customers.

“That may be true but it is more likely they want to increase their profit, which is not the right reason.”

Tesco’s premises licence for Shripney Road was granted by Arun in November 2005 and has been changed five times to result in the current licence with 24-hour sales Mondays to Thursdays – 140 continuous hours – and the restriction on Fridays and Saturdays when the rest of the store is open.

The limit was left because the council wanted to restrict the ability of people to get alcohol before heading off for nights out in the town centre or along the seafront. But Tesco can sell alcohol 24 hours a day during December only.

The application to remove the remaining restriction will be considered by the council after the deadline for comments closes on February 22.

Tesco said in a statement: “All the measures that we currently have in place during licensed hours would continue to be in place during any additional hours alcohol would be sold in store.

“We have written training policies and formal training programmes are in place, which ensure our people are equipped to meet all licensing objectives.

“Tesco Stores Ltd will at all times maintain adequate levels of staffing with such staff and security levels being disclosed to either the police or the licensing authority on request.

“All staff will receive licensing law training before they are permitted to sell alcohol to include the need to seek age verification.”