Tesco gets green light to sell alcohol at store

Grove Road Eastbourne. New Bus Stop outside proposed Tesco store. April 25th 2013 E17090P
Grove Road Eastbourne. New Bus Stop outside proposed Tesco store. April 25th 2013 E17090P

A controversial application for Tesco to sell alcohol at the store it intends to open in the former council offices in Grove Road was given the go ahead on Monday night.

Councillors agreed to the licence being granted despite fierce objections from residents living nearby.

The council this week defended its decision, saying the application was only given the go-ahead after Sussex Police withdrew its objections and Tesco agreed to a list of stringent conditions the authority says have never been seen in the town before.

The application has been a hot potato locally after local businessman Sultan Rahmani, who owns Kass Convenience Store opposite the railway station which was once a Thresher’s, was refused a licence because it is within a certain zone - yet Tesco is also in the same zone. Objector Elisabeth Scott said, “I thought that due to the nuisance caused by street drinkers, further licenses to sell alcohol were to be restricted. I believe the shop that took over from Thresher’s has been refused a licence because of the problem. I am amazed Tesco is applying for an alcohol licence. Surely to grant another licence would not be responsible.”

Among the conditions are that all spirits with an Alcohol by Volume of more than 12 per cent will not be available for self service, nobody carrying open cans or bottles of alcohol will be admitted, there will be no beer, lager or cider with an ABV of more than 5.5 per cent and people will only be able to buy packs of four cans or bottles.

Cllr John Ungar said, “The council is acutely aware of concerns over the availability of alcohol at the Tesco store in Grove Road and as a result we have imposed very strict conditions as part of granting a liquor licence. In the meantime Kass owner Mr Rahmani’s appeal against Eastbourne Borough Council refusal to grant him a licence has now been adjourned until September.