The fate of a bid for alcohol sales at a community store in Slough has been decided.

Earlier this year, the new occupants of Granville Stores in the Manor Park & Stoke area applied to sell alcohol from the shop for the first time.

Previously a halal butcher and grocery, the shop has been taken over by operators who are seeking to run it as a Romanian store in Granville Avenue.

The operators applied to sell alcohol from the venue for the very first time since it opened around 2020.

But the application has prompted controversy, with 18 neighbours objecting to it in a petition, arguing that allowing the store to sell alcohol until 10pm would ‘disrupt the peace and tranquillity’ of the residential area.

Plans also received an objection from Slough Borough Council’s resilience officer Fakhra Zaman who raised issues of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour which he feared could be exacerbated by alcohol sales at the store.

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Neighbours also argued that the store used to close at 6pm when it was first occupied after planning permission for the site was granted. Residents feared that a later closing would attract ‘groups of undesirable individuals’.

Sympathising with neighbours, Maroof Bibi Mohammed (Labour, Baylis & Salt Hill) said: “They accepted this shop under the condition that it wouldn’t be an off licence.”

However, Bill Donne of Silver Fox Licensing Consultants, representing the applicant, replied that it is up to the landlord to decide the use of the property, with council permission.

Mr Donne said: “The landlord wishes to let the property out either on a tenancy or a lease, then he seeks as many shop owners for a tenant to run a particular operation.

“He was approached by a potential lessee who was interested in doing a takeaway, that application was submitted in 2022 and it was refused.

“It’s not a matter for the residents to make that decision, it’s a matter for the council.”

Cllr Mohammed Nazir (Labour, Manor Park & Stoke) also argued an off licence would lead to an increase in littering and anti-social behaviour.

He said: “Being a councillor for the last 14 years, that area is notorious for anti-social behaviour, for littering and for drug dealing.”

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However, Mr Donne convinced the committee that conditions controlling the operations of the shop such as Challenge 25 age verification, refusals policy and maintaining an incidents book would adequately respond to the concerns of neighbours.

Ultimately, a decision on the application was made by Slough Borough Council’s licensing applications committee which granted the application for the sale of alcohol off the premises from 8am to 10pm seven days a week at the meeting on Thursday, February 29.

The application was approved on the condition that no single cans of alcohol are sold, meaning shoppers will have to buy multi-packs.

The decision was made by cllrs Nadeem Khawar (Conservative, Cippenham Manor), Robert Stedmond (Conservative, Cippenham Green) and Maroof Mohammed.