Alcohol licence granted for Solihull convenience shop despite furious residents' objections

Solihull Council's Civic Suite
-Credit: (Image: Sam Greenway LDR)

A convenience shop has been given a licence to sell alcohol despite residents voicing their objections to Solihull Council. Licensing bosses at the authority have granted the licence to Friends Express in Old Lode Lane under strict conditions.

More than 20 residents wrote to the authority sharing their concerns about the plan. Their concerns included:

  • Potential of crime and disorder throughout the day

  • The business being near Valley Primary School and young families living nearby

  • No need for it with premises nearby already selling alcohol

  • Anti social behaviour in the area including alleged drug dealing

  • Potential of increased noise and litter

  • Public safety as with extra traffic, extra difficulty crossing Old Lode Lane

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One complainant, named Michelle, wrote: “I strongly object to this application on the basis Old Lode Lane is already a very busy street. “We have had many people very late at night drunk and disorderly walking past my house disturbing the peace.”

Aravind Goli wrote: “I urge the council to consider the adverse effects that an alcohol licence would have on our community.” Councillor Yvonne Clements, who represents the Elmdon ward where the shop is based, wrote: “This is a family orientated area, with a children's nursery in the same row of shops - I do not think that they should be subjected to intoxicated adults on a quiet row of shops.”

But officers in their report to the licensing act panel meeting highlighted applicant Vijayatheepa Thavanesan had offered conditions the 24 hour shop would fulfil for the licence. These included that staff would receive full training; CCTV would be installed with recordings kept for 30 days and the challenge 25 policy - preventing the sale to those underage - would be “strictly followed” with relevant signs on the premises.

Old Lode Lane shops where Friends Express now based
Old Lode Lane shops where Friends Express now based -Credit:Google Maps

And officers also highlighted in the report West Midlands Police had not objected to this application provided Friends Express sticks to conditions agreed between them and the police. Among the conditions agreed were no sales of beer, lager, alcopops or cider as single can or glass bottle between 11pm and 8am; CCTV must be installed capable of taking a head and shoulders shot of persons entering the premises; and “Local neighbouring properties should be consulted on a regular basis to ensure that you are not causing any nuisance to them such as lighting, noise and litter”.

Members of the committee agreed to grant the licence saying they felt the conditions were “proportionate and appropriate” and dealt with the concerns raised by residents. The meeting took place at the Civic Suite on Monday, (June 24).

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