Neighbours and health chiefs oppose Brighton off-licence plan

Neighbours and health chiefs are opposing plans by a new business in Brighton to sell alcohol.

Seventeen people living near Freshfield Market, in Freshfield Road, Brighton, have objected to owner Ufuk Cetinkaya’s plans to sell alcohol from 8am to 10pm from Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 9pm on Sundays.

One person, whose details were redacted on the Brighton and Hove City Council website, wrote: “There is already a reoccurring problem/issue with street drinking and late-night drunkenness in the area and will only be compounded by yet another shop selling alcohol.

“There are three other stores selling alcohol within a quarter-mile radius of each other and another would just exacerbate the alcohol issues within this area.

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“I am a firm believer in free trade and supporting my local shops, but not when it contributes to the detriment of people’s lives and ultimately my local community.”

Many neighbours wrote a similar letter, with one saying: “This is a quiet family-orientated, residential area, which is already well catered for in terms of the number of off-licences within a five-minute walk (at least three) and within a 15-minute walk (at least six) and therefore I see no reason to grant a licence for another one so close by.”

The council licensing department and public health team are also opposed the application.

Public health consultant Peter Wilkinson said that Queen’s Park ward was ranked the worst for A&E (accident and emergency) attendances for alcohol-related admissions and deaths.

It is ranked second worst for high-risk drinking and alcohol treatment.

Dr Wilkinson said: “This application if accepted would very likely add to this burden from alcohol and it cannot be seen as exceptional or as having the effect of reducing the cumulative impact from alcohol.”

Dr Wilkinson also said that the area was the second or third worst in the city for alcohol-associated crime and disorder.

The council licensing department said that the application was in the city’s special stress area where licensing rules are tighter because of concerns about the levels of crime and disorder and public nuisance.

The council’s policy is not to allow new off-licences in the area unless there are special circumstances.

A council licensing panel is due to consider the application at Hove Town Hall next Monday (28 October).

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