Sainsbury’s could face another setback in the centre of Brighton after Sussex Police objected its latest application for a drinks licence.
The force has written to Brighton and Hove City Council to object to a licence for the premises on the corner of St James’s Street and Old Steine, formerly the grocer Taj.
In December Sainsbury’s was refused permission to sell alcoholic drinks at its North Street store.
Both stores fall within the council’s “cumulative impact area” where the council’s policy is refuse new licences in most cases.
Sussex Police said: “Defending this policy is key to ensuring that the cumulative impact of so many premises selling alcohol in a relatively small area is not problematic for the city.
“A licensing committee hearing will listen to evidence from the police and other interested parties today and a decision is expected later this evening.”
Chief Inspector Simon Nelson said: “Through objecting to an alcohol licence being granted to Sainsbury’s for their new store on the corner of St James’s Street and Old Steine we are not questioning their capabilities as a brand to discharge their responsibilities appropriately .
“The business relationship between the police and the company has been positive on the whole.
“The concentration of licensed premises within a small area of the city causes problems of anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder and public nuisance, which is why the council has implimented a designated cumulative impact area within the city.
“These problems are not confined to the hours of darkness and the recession has presented new challenges perculiar to off-sales.
“Both the availability and affordability of alcohol is having a negative cumulative impact on the alcohol dependent street community, as well as often being the catalyst for harm within the home.
“The granting of a new premises licence to these premises would provide a further venue supplying alcohol within an area already so sufficiently heavily populated with licensed premises that crime, disorder and public nuisance have reached unacceptable levels.
“It is noted that at the time of writing there are already 31 premises licensed for alcohol in St James’s Street and, in accordance with the ‘Joint Statement of Licensing Policy’, it is our duty to object to any growth.”