CEN article: Tesco fails to win licence for drinks


Cambridge - Tesco site Mill RoadTESCO’S new store in Mill Road will open without booze after city councillors rejected its application for a drinks licence.

The licensing sub-committee’s decision yesterday was greeted by loud applause from campaigners who had fought the supermarket giant’s plans every step of the way.

Ruth Deyermond, planning coordinator of the No Mill Road Tesco campaign, hailed the decision “a victory for common sense and the community”.

Solicitor Jeremy Bark put the case for Tesco’s application, saying the store would open “in any event” on August 26.

Tesco sought a licence to sell alcohol from 10am-10pm seven days a week.

He said 7 to 8 per cent of the sales at a typical Tesco Express are alcohol and the company had a “good history of working with police” to ensure all sales were legal.

Cambridgeshire police opposed the application, arguing further alcohol sales would exacerbate alcohol-related problems.

The Mill Road area was designated a “cumulative impact zone” in May 2008, meaning new applications would normally be refused unless the applicant could show it would not add to drink-related trouble.

Insp Marcia Nichols said the area suffered a “disproportionate” level of alcohol-related trouble and was already a “hotspot for violence”.

Dr Deyermond, speaking on behalf of the No Mill Road Tesco campaign, told the meeting the application was “totally inappropriate” in a cumulative impact zone.

Janette Evely, a parent from Argyle Street and a teacher at St Philip’s Primary School, said pupils often encountered antisocial behaviour related to street drinking, and Mill Road did not need another outlet selling drink.

Cllr Mike Dixon, sub-committee chairman, announced the application was rejected for its failure to adequately address the cumulative impact policy and the council’s planning policy.

Dr Deyermond said: “We think this is a victory for common sense and the community.”

Insp Nichols said: “The issue was never about Tesco. The increase in sales of alcohol by any premises would have had a detrimental impact.”

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed but are looking forward to opening the store on August 26 as planned.”

Cambridge Evening News, 18/08/2009

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