Councillors give their verdict on Brazilian shop’s drinks licence application

A specialist Brazilian deli can sell alcohol as long as most of it is Portuguese.

The Brazilian Centre, in Church Road, Hove, has been granted a drinks licence despite an objection from Sussex Police.

At a council licensing panel hearing on Tuesday 14 September, police licensing officer Hannah Staplehurst said that the force was concerned about rising alcohol-related crime in the area.

She said that there were issues with high levels of alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour in Church Road and the wider area, including Hove Lawns.

And granting a drinks licence to another business in the area could add to those problems, she said.

In the past two months in the Brazilian Centre’s postcode area, there were 12 calls to police with incidents including an assault, problems with street drinkers and a violent fight.

The licensing panel was told that test purchases had been carried out in Hove, including in Church Road, to try to find out where teenagers were buying their alcohol.

The test purchases found that a “significant number” of off-licences in the area were selling to underage volunteers.

The Brazilian Centre’s representative, licensing agent Manuel Rocha, said that the company operated three similar stores in London, which all had alcohol licences.

He said that the business wanted to sell wines and beers from Brazil and Portugal as well as the spirit cachaca used in the caipirinha cocktail.

Mr Rocha also said that the company was willing to limit the floor space devoted to alcohol.

The licensing panel said: “We recognise the police concerns about crime and disorder in the locality but consider that, with appropriate conditions, the application if granted would not make matters worse.

“The application is not for a traditional off-licence. The proposed alcohol offer is very limited, both in terms of floor space to be given over to alcohol and source of alcohol to be made available.”

The council added conditions to the licence so that no more than 10 per cent of the shop space could be devoted to alcohol and 90 per cent of products should be of Portuguese origin.

In addition, the shop should display no alcohol within two metres of the door and the business should mark all drinks to show the place of purchase.

The shop can sell alcohol from 10am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sundays.

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