Five shops, and three are now selling booze

Booze parade: Highfield Road, Rastrick
Booze parade: Highfield Road, Rastrick

THREE out of five shops on a Rastrick arcade can now sell alcohol.

Calderdale’s licensing sub-committee granted a licence for the Premier store at Highfield Road.

It opened this month and had intended to trade under the Londis brand under which the application was sought.

The decision was not without controversy. Enforcement officers had to visit more than 130 homes checking opinions after some residents said they had not put their names on a standard letter of objection.

Ahead of the decision council officers said under guidelines the amount of licensed premises in the area was not a consideration.

The shop wanted to sell alcohol from 7 am to 11 pm Monday to Saturday and from 8 am to 11 pm on Sunday which meant it would be selling drink an hour later than the two neighbouring shops.

But, when police did not object to alcohol sales finishing at 10 pm the application was amended and permission granted.

Solicitor Ian Baker, for the owner Muhammad Ismail, argued the objections were based on potential anti-social behaviour and difficult to discuss.

He added the shop would have CCTV, a “Challenge 25” ID policy and well-trained staff.

Councillor Ann McAllister (Con, Rastrick) said the area was a gathering place for youths and could be intimidating for customers and residents.

“CCTV is fine, but it records what goes on, it doesen’t stop it,” she said.

“We have done a lot of work on the Field Lane estate trying to eradicate anti-social behaviour. I recognise the concession but the objection still stands.”

Resident Jill Hill said: “You do feel threatened. Youths are sitting there with cans of beer - why do we need a third shop selling alcohol?”

Another resident, Kevin Holgate, said he has had to ask drinking youths to quieten down so his family could sleep.

Committee chairman Coun Keith Watson (Con, Greetland/Stainland) approved the amended application.