Hatfield newsagents given permission to sell booze
A NEWSAGENT has been granted permission to sell booze – despite objections from a rival off-licence. IFS News (Newsmart) in Market Place, Hatfield, will now be able to sell alcohol after borough councillors gave the thumbs-up.
A NEWSAGENT has been granted permission to sell booze - despite objections from a 'rival' off-licence.
IFS News (Newsmart) in Market Place, Hatfield, will now be able to sell alcohol after borough councillors gave the thumbs-up.
The licensing sub-committee dismissed an objection by Mehmet Tekdemir, who had complained it would increase the possibility of children buying or consuming booze.
Mr Tekdemir's written statement did not reveal he was connected to Town Off-Licence, just round the corner in the town centre.
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He wrote: "There is a problem in Hatfield with underage drinking and exposing children to alcohol in a shop selling sweets, comics and toys will not help the problem."
IFS News owner Mohammed Sabir told the WHT he believed the opposition was "scared of the competition" and insisted he wouldn't be selling to anyone underage.
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He said: "I know they were concerned about the business (selling alcohol) but I'm not sure why.
"So far we have been very, very strict in selling cigarettes and we have been keeping a record and refusal book of all those asked - so it will be no different for alcohol.
"Maybe they objected because they were scared of the competition."
Mr Sabir, who took over the business last July, runs it with his three university student daughters and his wife.
He added: "We want to contribute to the local economy.
"Regulars were coming in asking if they could sign the petition (to get a licence), so it was really good. We had hundreds sign it."
The licence permits the sale of alcohol from 9am to 8pm Mondays to Saturdays, and 9am until 7pm on Sundays.
Mr Sabir said it would be a few months before the shop started selling booze.
Councillor Helen Bromley, a member of the licensing sub-committee, said she and her colleagues dismissed the objection as they could not take into account "speculative comments".
She said: "We had no reason not to give IFS News their licence. We have to obey the law."
No one from Town Off-Licence wanted to talk to the WHT when questioned after the result.