Customers sign up to oppose new licence bid

Manager Lorraine Hall and staff Barbara BrownJanet Murdock from Leven sign the petition.
Manager Lorraine Hall and staff Barbara BrownJanet Murdock from Leven sign the petition.

Hundreds of customers of Leven post office and the adjoining shop have signed up to object to a planned new convenience store nearby being licensed.

Fife Licensing Board on Monday is due to consider an application from One Stop Stores Ltd for a new provisional premises licence for a branch in Durie Street, at the former Houseproud premises.

However, the proprietors and customers of the nearby Nisa store and post office on Victoria Road argue the area is already well served with licensed premises and that another would lead to over-provision and potentially exacerbate problems with under-age drinking.

The One Stop chain, which has more than 750 stores, is a subsidiary of Tesco.

“We opened our store 15 months ago and have worked hard to develop it, which includes working closely with police on problems with under-age drinking,” said Harris Aslam, one of the proprietors of the family business.

“Within a very small area here we already have five licensed premises - ourselves, Premier at Scoonie Road, Home Bargains, Sainsbury’s and Lidl - and we feel strongly that another would be an over-provision.”

In just six days of Nisa staff starting the petition objecting to the granting of a license, it had attracted more than 230 signatures from customers.Mr Aslam also has concerns that another licensed store could make it easier for under-age youths to obtain booze.

“When we opened there was a problem with youths hassling customers to buy them alcohol but we have put a huge effort into stopping this and also have a very strict policy if we suspect someone is trying to buy alcohol for anyone underage,” Mr Aslam said.

Councillor Alistair Hunter said he had been approached by constituents concerned about over-provision. He said: “It is my responsibility to represent their concerns and from a personal point of view, as a Leven resident, you have to question whether we need more licensed premises.”