Bristol post office gets alcohol licence despite objections

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Post OfficeImage source, Google
Image caption,
The owner's representative said in its current state, the business would not survive

A post office in an "alcohol-fuelled" crime hotspot has been granted permission to double up as an off-licence despite police objections.

Bristol city councillors approved the licence for the Bedminster Parade branch after hearing it faced closure if it did not offer more products.

Both police and the local authority's licensing team asked for the panel to reject the application.

A number of conditions were imposed, including the fitting of CCTV.

Planners also insisted the premises continued operating as a post office, the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed.

Avon and Somerset Police licensing officer Louise Mowbray said: "This is the second most problematic street in Avon and Somerset to do with alcohol-related issues.

"Within 300m of these premises there is a large residential housing unit which takes members of the public who have issues with alcohol and substance misuse."

Council licensing officer Andy Lyle said the area already suffered from street drinkers and alcohol-related assaults.

"I am concerned that another retail outlet for alcohol in an area already more than adequately served by such premises will only add to its alcohol-fuelled problems."

But Stewart Gibson, representing sub-postmaster Lakhvir Singh Samra, said the off-licence application for "relatively modest hours" was necessary to keep the shop afloat.

"Mr Samra has been running that business for the last 10 years and is an upstanding member of the community," Mr Gibson said.

"He knows who the 'street drinkers' are and has banned them from the post office," he added.

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