9/10/07 – Petrol station set to sell alcoho
First published in the Swindon Advertiser 9th October 2007.
BOOZE will be sold at a petrol station in Swindon – despite residents’ objections.
Esso will be able to sell alcohol from its Dorcan Way service station between 6am and midnight, when the company has finished rebuilding it.
The company won permission to sell booze, between 6am and midnight, from Swindon Council’s licensing committee last week.
Geraldine Brant lives in nearby Blakeney Avenue, Nythe, and did not attend the meeting after officers ruled her letter of objection did not make relevant points.
She said the plan would see boozers buy bottles then decamp to the next-door play area to swig it.
“I would ask who needs to buy a bottle of beer at 6am?” she said.
“If you do need to buy a bottle at 6am I would think you also need to talk to Alcoholics Anonymous.
“I just think that this decision hasn’t been properly thought through – although I’m sure the committee was bound by legislation that they could not refuse it because it was next door to a play area. I accept it may not be illegal to sell alcohol next door to a play area, but it’s certainly illogical.”
Ward councillors Glenn Smith and Phil Young spoke against the proposal on the night.
“The time the place can sell drinks from and to is far too long but at least it is not a 24-hour licence,” said Coun Smith (Con, Covingham).
“It was a disappointment that the scheme wasn’t refused completely.
“And a particular disappointment that the committee didn’t reduce the time the station could serve drinks.
“I know the residents were hoping that the committee’s restrictions would force them to stop selling alcohol at 10pm or 11pm.
“But I suppose committees often have their hands tied by what Government says they can and can’t do.”
During the meeting, the company’s legal team pledged to provide councillors with names and phone numbers of duty managers at the site so any problems could be reported directly to them.