New off-licence in Lozells blocked due to street drinking blight

New off-licence in Lozells blocked due to street drinking blight

A bid for a new off-licence in Lozells has been blocked due to concerns the area is already blighted by street drinking.

Fears were also expressed that gang culture was prominent leading to issues with gun and knife crime.

A Birmingham City Council licensing sub-committee this week (Monday, August 6) rejected the application by Minimarket to sell alcohol from the currently empty unit on Lozells Road.

It is now unlikely that the former City Bargains store will re-open even as a grocery store, as applicant Saman Kahrahman said it would be unfeasible without an off-licence.



The empty unit on Lozells Road, Birmingham.

A neighbouring shopkeeper had formally objected stating his own off-licence had been targeted by armed robbers twice in a week earlier this year and claimed he had since had to issue staff with conflict situation training.

He expressed concerns the new shop would not be prepared for dealing with the ‘difficult’ issues in the area.

West Midlands Police also opposed the application.

Licensing officer PC Abdool Rohomon said: “This is an area of high demand for West Midlands Police.

“It takes a lot of work and continues to take a lot of work to deal with the issues.”

It was also raised during the hearing that the shop unit was opposite the New Testament Church which runs a soup kitchen for the homeless and near to Care First Services which operates support hostels.

Committee chairman Cllr Barbara Dring said Lozells was a ‘difficult and challenging area’ for the local neighbourhood police team due to ‘anti-social behaviour, street drinking and gang culture’.

Mr Kahrahman said he successfully ran a similar business in Telford and was looking to expand his ’empire’.

He proposed a number of measures to combat the issues present in the area stating an incident log would be kept, a CCTV system would be installed, staff would carry out litter picks and a Challenge 25 policy would be implemented to prevent sales of alcohol to children.

Mr Kahrahman also stated his shop would only be open until midnight unlike some other off-licences in the area which remain open until 4am.

But Cllr Dring stated the committee was ‘not pursuaded’ the measures put forward were enough to cope with the problems in the area.

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