Village off-licence at risk from plans for rival outlet

Kiranjot Kaur and John Ranil Fernando outside Brookmans Wines.

Kiranjot Kaur and John Ranil Fernando outside Brookmans Wines. - Credit: Brookmans Wines

The owners of a specialist off-licence which has been trading for 13 years say their future is threatened by plans for a rival business on their doorstep.

Brookmans Wines, in Bradmore Green, Brookmans Park, has been owned by Kiranjot Kaur and John Ranil Fernando since 2009.

But now they are fearing the worst after learning of plans to transform former newsagent Brookmans Park News into a convenience store selling alcohol until the early hours of the morning, directly impacting the late night trade picked up when the nearby Co-op closes at 10pm.

Kiranjot explained: "Brookmans Park village is a relatively small area with very limited population residing there and there is not enough potential for so many retailers to share the profit from the sale of alcohol.

"There is very limited footfall with virtually no passing trade since the number of commuters using the overground station declined during the pandemic.

"When we bought the shop in 2009, it needed changes and improvements to turn it from a normal village off-licence into the specialist off-licence that it is now, specialising in craft beers, wines and spirits and imported soft drinks and confectionery that you could not get in the average supermarket.

"There is absolutely no way on this earth that the business could have lasted for so long without the love and support shown by our lovely loyal community of Brookmans Park! We are truly blessed to have strong community support behind us at all times!

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"Introducing any new off-licence represents a serious threat to the survival of my business in these tough economic times as there will be a price war between us. We have a petition up and running at my shop and the community is supporting us fully as they don’t want another convenience store in the village."

Customers are invited to pop into the shop and sign the petition, or register objections to the planning application before July 16 2022 by writing direct to Licensing Services at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

Objections can only be made on the following grounds:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm.