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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The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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