Wideopen shop granted alcohol licence despite fears of anti-social behaviour

The Journal shop on Canterbury Way in Wideopen.
-Credit: (Image: Newcastle Chronicle/Iain Buist)

A new alcohol licence for a Wideopen shop has been approved despite fears of anti-social behaviour.

North Tyneside Council’s licensing committee has granted The Journal Convenience Store, on 21 Canterbury Way, a permit for alcohol sales between 8am to 10pm daily. This comes despite local worries that a licence may contribute to troubling behaviour on the estate.

Wideopen local, Julie Hannon, told the committee she feared an alcohol licence in conjunction with longer opening hours was a recipe for fueling anti-social behaviour in the area. Ms Hannon also claimed she had 102 names objecting to the application.

She also had concerns about customers congregating outside the shop, close to nearby homes. Ms Hannon told the committee: “I have had past experience next to a shop selling alcohol. I have been a resident of Wideopen all my life, I’ve seen anti-social behaviour outside the Co-op, and outside the One Stop shop down the road.

“I’ve spoken to staff from these shops and they’ve told me they can’t get rid of kids hanging around outside, no matter what they do, and they are very concerned about the high levels of theft. I have witnessed it with my own eyes, living in that area.”

However, Esam Khass, representing applicant Kamalanathan Sakilan, told the licensing committee that his client had 15 years of experience in the industry and that no objections had been raised by Northumbria Police.

In addition, Mr Khass informed councillors the shop would adhere to ‘Challenge 25’ and install CCTV at both the front and back of the shop for extra security.

Mr Khass said: “This is a very very small establishment which has been trading for many years. The shop sells a wide range of goods. The proposed sale of alcohol will just be part of the overall business, roughly less than 15% of the floor space."

Mr Khass continued: “We put forward a comprehensive set of licensing conditions to uphold the licencing objectives.”

After listening to both representations and deliberation, North Tyneside Council’s licensing committee approved the applicant’s application for alcohol sales for consumption off the premises.