THERE are already enough outlets selling alcohol in Castletown, according to Castletown Commissioners.
And for this reason, the authority will oppose Tesco’s second application for a licence to sell alcohol from the proposed new store in Callow’s Yard.
The store’s first application to sell alcohol in April failed when the court found it was ‘not satisfied, considering the requirements and circumstance of the neighbourhood, that there is a need for a further licensed premises in Castletown centre’.
At the hearing in April, the police said there are already sufficient licensed premises in the town, adding that a new store selling alcohol would act as a potential magnet for people to loiter, possibly leading to anti-social behaviour, and that it would also create parking issues in the Malew and Bank Street area.
The local authority opposed that application also.
The commissioners debated Tesco’s second bid for a licence in private last Monday, September 3.
Their discussion followed a meeting (requested by the local authority) with Tesco to discuss the store’s plans for the town.
Commissioners’ chairman Kevin Weir said they had met representatives from Tesco on Wednesday, August 22.
‘We had a good meeting with them,’ he said. ‘They tried to accommodate us and asked us what we wanted in the off licence.’
He added: ‘We had a lot of reservations. They have a 25-year-old policy [they do not sell alcohol to anyone under 25], the back door to the store [from the courtyard in Callow’s Yard] they would lock at 8pm.
‘There was quite a list of things they would do, but at the end of the day it’s a question of need, regardless of any terms and conditions.
‘We are not saying we are against Tesco, we are saying: is there a need for another off licence?’
He revealed there were six off licences within 100 feet of the square. ‘We have got 12 in town, this would have been the 13th,’ he said.
‘We already have loutish behaviour in and around town, especially when events are on.’
He added the vote to oppose the application was won by a narrow margin and the board was split on the decision. He would not say who voted for what.
Tesco gave no indication of what it would do if its second application – to be heard in court on September 13 – is turned down, but Mr Weir said: ‘I would have thought by their body language [at the meeting], and the way they wanted to co-operate, this is very important to them.’
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