Manchester shop given alcohol licence despite fears over ‘accident waiting to happen’

Foood Plus was given the nod despite residents’ concerns.

A Manchester shop has been granted a licence to sell alcohol – despite fears it could worsen parking problems and create ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

Foood Plus, at the Jewish Cultural Centre, in Crumpsall,  will be able to stock booze for customers to enjoy off-premises, following the decision of a council sub-committee.

The panel approved the application at its latest meeting – provided the store improves its CCTV coverage in line with a police recommendation.

Local councillor and resident Nasrin Ali lodged an objection to the proposal ahead of the meeting, which was held at the town hall extension  on Monday.

She said it was the only shop in a residential area, was used by families – including young children – and there were ‘big issues’ with litter and fly-tipping in the immediate vicinity.

Food Plus is at the Jewish Cultural Centre, Crumpsall, Manchester. Credit: Google Street View.

Her message to licensing chiefs added: “The car park is always full and cars double park on park road . 

“Even with a security presence there is always issues with parking. There is an accident waiting to happen.”

What was said in response?

But Avrohom Mordechai Beenstock, of applicant So Much More Ltd, argued these were irrelevant to the application.

He said: “The objections that were made by Councillor Ali on the application, the main points have nothing really to do with the shop, more to do with the environment – parking or litter,” he said.

“Our shop is mainly for families, it’s like a newsagent, but for people who keep kosher, so people in the are not coming to us in a car.”

“Litter is a problem but not directly caused by our premises. It could be any shop, be it Tesco in Cheetham Hill or any other commercial premises.”

Mr Beenstock also told the panel – chaired by Coun Paul Andrews – that the firm had agreed to use CCTV more extensively, following a previous objection by GMP.

This includes installing and maintaining a ‘comprehensive digital colour CCTV system, covering all public entry and exit points and the street outside’.

It will record continually whilst the premises are open and footage must be provided to the police or council in their preferred format on request.

What must the shop do?

Other conditions stipulated as part of the licence include keeping an incident log that is made available to the authorities on request, operating a Challenge 25 policy and that no alcohol should be sold ‘to any individual that appears intoxicated’.

The shop is open till 9pm Sunday to Thursday and closes at 6pm on Fridays.

Following a short period of deliberation, the licensing sub-committee advised Mr Beenstock that the licence had been granted subject to the further conditions agreed with GMP.

Coun Andrews said the panel believed these would ‘fulfil the licensing objectives’ – which include the prevention of crime, disorder and public nuisance, as well as the protection of children from harm.

Manchester council’s  licensing sub-committee hearing panel met at the town hall extension on Monday (7 February).