RESIDENTS opposing late alcohol sales for a new convenience store due to open on a Dorchester housing estate have lost their case.

They claimed the store would be a magnet for young people to congregate, drinking in the street, with associated anti-social behaviour and littering.

But Dorset councillors agreed the application for liquor off-sales from 6am to 11pm for the yet to be opened Manor Park Stores.

A hearing into the application was told there had been no objections from the police, or other statutory consultees, and the shop owner had more than 10 years’ experience, including at a similar shop in Chickerell which he currently runs.

Part of the conditions of the new licence includes installing a CCTV system and staff training in the sales of alcohol. Staff will also have to adhere to the Challenge 25 policy which requires strict proof of age for alcohol sales.

Barrister Mr Peter Savill told the licensing hearing that the shop operator, Mr Nallappan, hoped the business would become a useful asset to the community and he had every intention of running it, as part of the Premier franchise, with that in mind.

Mr Savill said his shop in Chickerell had not become a focus for anti-social behaviour and there was no evidence to show that the Manor Road premises would be any different.

He said the 11pm termination hour did not automatically mean that the premises would become a magnet for anti-social behaviour and if problems arose Mr Nallappan would call the police.

Neighbour Mr Michael Harden said the only concern was that the shop would be open later than others in the same parade which, he feared, could lead to anti-social behaviour. He said Dorchester had seen an increase in anti- social behaviour recently which seemed to be fuelled by alcohol.

He asked councillors to impose an 8pm deadline for the sale of alcohol from the premises.

Another nearby resident. Mr Michael Richardson, said his family welcomed and would support the shop, but felt the 11pm cut-off for alcohol sales was too late.

He argued that CCTV was unlikely to prevent problems although was useful after an incident.

“I fear it’s going to be a blight on the area if it stays open after 8pm,” he said…”what this business proposes seven days a week, is way beyond what is reasonable and acceptable and will make an impact on the area,” he said.

“If they sell alcohol as late as proposed it will cause problems in our area, it will cause criminality, anti-social behaviour and litter.”

Pic – The empty unit due to become a new convenience store on Manor Park, Dorchester.