Sainsbury’s Local denied licence

18 February, 2011

A new Sainsbury’s Local convenience store in Brighton is the only one in the country to be trading without a drinks licence.?Brighton & Hove City Council refused to grant the new shop a licence on the grounds it fell within a Cumulative Impact Area in the city centre. Sainsbury’s has appealed the decision, and the case is due to be heard at Brighton Magistrates’ Court in May.?Proposals going through parliament could encourage councils to set up CIAs – which could, in turn, make it harder for shops to gain drinks licences in restricted areas, warns OLN licensing expert Peter Coulson.?MPs are consulting on plans to lower the level of evidence needed to set up such a zone, labelling it “appropriate” rather than “necessary”. “Appropriate just means it is the right thing to do. I think it is absolutely scandalous,” said Coulson. “It could certainly have an effect by making Cumulative Impact Areas more widespread.”?Coulson pointed out that the statutory guidance, which covers Cumulative Impact Areas instead of legislation, aims to deter councils from including off-licences in their CIA policies.?But Brighton has gone against that recommendation, saying it has a specific problem with pre-loading and street drinking.?

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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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