Sheffield city centre convenience store granted 24-hour alcohol licence despite health concerns

The owner of a Costcutter on a busy road in Sheffield city centre has been granted a licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, despite health concerns.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 12:30 pm

Sheffield Council’s licensing sub-committee granted the licence for Costcutter, on 111 St Mary’s Road, near the city centre, and applied extra conditions.

The previous licence allowed it to open from 7am to 11pm.

Robert Botkai, representing the applicant, said: “[The applicant] has 34 licensed stores, he is a very experienced operator and many of those are 24 hours, so he knows how to run a 24 hour store.

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The Costcutter on St Mary's Road in Sheffield city centre has been granted a 24-hour alcohol licence

“There is not a street drinking issue at this location, it is not right in the city centre, they do not gather in the morning to get their first drink and we know that in some areas that is how they behave, they are not coming in and causing nuisance – there is simply no issue at this location with the street drinking community.”

There were four objections to the change of licence, from the three City ward councillors and public health.

Councillor Douglas Johnson said from the experiences they have seen in the ward, alcohol should not be sold in the early hours of the morning.

Magdalena Boo, public health officer, added: “Looking at the ward profile, City ward has an 83.6 alcohol attributable deaths per thousand population, compared to 45.5 for Sheffield. So it has a significantly higher alcohol related deaths.

“A quarter of people in the ward drink alcohol two or three times a week, it’s the 10th most deprived ward in Sheffield and anti-social behaviour is the most prevalent crime.

“We know from the vast array of empirical evidence that one of the things that makes the difference is availability of alcohol and particularly of takeaway alcohol.

“So there is extensive evidence that the availability of alcohol contributes to alcohol related harm and if you reduce the availability of alcohol you reduce the alcohol related harm.”

The agreed conditions include monthly meetings with the public health alcohol service recovery team during the first year, maintain a refusals log in a format agreed with the council, not serve those appearing drunk or drugged and display signage asking customers to leave quietly at night.”

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