New Fife store secures drinks licence despite community objections

Representatives of a new convenience store trailed for Dysart say it will work to "serve the community" despite fears that its alcohol licence could encourage anti-social behaviour.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:39 pm

Businesswoman Jatinder Kaur has been granted a provisional permit to sell booze from a Keystore convenience shop on Cross Street.

Ms Kaur, who also operates a combined USave and Indian takeaway on Kirkcaldy's High Street, overcame the objections of 14 members of the public as well as Dysart Community Council to secure the licence.

Fife Licensing Board heard this week that she was prepared to invest a "six figure sum" in the store.

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The proposed new Keystore in Dysart will be able to sell alcohol
The proposed new Keystore in Dysart will be able to sell alcohol

Retail consultant Gordon Emslie, representing, told councillors: "My clients would not have made such an investment if they didn't believe it would be valuable for them.

"Alcohol is part and parcel of the modern-day range. They are responsible retailers and have good relations with Police Scotland and licensing standards officers."

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Objectors claimed that granting the as-yet-unopened store a booze licence would lead to an increase in underage drinking.

However, Police Scotland did not object to the application.

Mr Emslie said: “From reading all the objections I get the feeling the community does not wish another store, and some people may have been asked to raise their concerns by other retailers.

"This is a community convenience store wishing to have alcohol as part of its overall offering, and my clients will happily work with the community.

"While each objector makes good and reasoned points I do not believe they have provided any evidence or statistics to back these up."

Dunfermline Central Labour councillor Garry Haldane moved approval of the application, seconded by Kirkcaldy Central Labour councillor, Alastair Cameron.

Cllr Haldane said: "It's a case of something new in the area. The application can come back [to the board] if it proves to be a problem."

Howe of Fife and Tay Coast SNP councillor David MacDiarmid sought to refuse the application on the grounds of the high number of objections. He failed to secure a seconder for his motion and the application was granted.

Cllr MacDiarmid said: "There were far too many objectors, including the community council, to make me feel easy about this one."

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