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Norbury shopkeeper applies for 24-hour alcohol licence

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A NORBURY shopkeeper is vying to become Croydon's first small shop with a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week alcohol licence.

But his proposals have run into immediate opposition in the area, with claims the move would create more late-night disturbance and encourage street drinking.

Wakeezan Manivasakam, owner of Linda Food & Wine in London Road, has applied to the council for permission to sell alcohol from his mini-supermarket 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mr Manivasakam said at present, he had a licence to serve off sales drinks until 1am, but he wanted to boost his business by staying open longer.

He said: "Business is not at its best at the moment and we need to increase our hours."

Mr Manivasakam said his shop was close to Norbury railway station and the last train stopped at the station at 1.45am.

He said he already had a considerable number of people who bought alcohol from his shop after midnight.

By extending the licensing hours, he would be able to meet the demand from last train passengers and others out late at night.

He said: "I think a lot of people are happy with us being open 24 hours."

But Norbury councillor Maggie Mansell said she had been joined by Norbury Village Residents' Association in lodging a formal objections to the licence application.

Cllr Mansell said: "I don't believe there is any reason for 24-hour licences.

"If anyone wants to drink responsibly they can look ahead and buy whatever they want earlier in the day."

Cllr Mansell said she and residents living close to the shop feared that a 24-hour licence would attract people from a wide area.

She added: "People will be driving to the shop in the early hours, getting out their cars and slamming doors."

"It will all cause a lot more nuisance and we don't need that, thank you very much."

Croydon Police licensing officers will be looking at the application closely, pointing out that until now, 24-hour licences in the borough had been restricted to major supermarkets.

The objections mean the application has to be considered by the council's licensing sub-committee, but no date has yet been fixed.


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