Supermarket giant Tesco finds out tonight (Monday) if it will get the go-ahead to sell alcohol at the store it plans to open in the old council offices in Grove Road.
Tesco has planning permission to convert the offices at 68 Grove Road into a supermarket but has applied to Eastbourne Borough Council’s licensing department for a licence to sell alcohol.
A meeting is to be held at Eastbourne Town Hall at 6pm.
The superstore giant is applying to sell alcohol from 6am until 11pm but the application has prompted objections from neighbouring residents and Sussex Police.
Resident Elisabeth Scott said, “There is such a problem with street drinkers so surely to grant another licence would not be responsible.
“I do think that Tesco can survive selling other products without the necessity to sell alcoholic drinks. Also, I believe the shop that took over from Thresher’s off-sales has been refused a licence because of the problem with the street drinkers.”
Former licensing officer Bernard Hall has also objected and said, “If Tesco is granted a licence to sell alcohol, there is a far greater chance of street drinkers enjoying the convenience of the benches outside of the Town Hall.
“My view is that granting a licence to sell alcohol would be detrimental to the social ambience of the area.”
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said the force was objecting to the application on the grounds of crime and disorder and public nuisance.
“This area is already saturated with licensed premises with off-licences being a particular issue,” he said.
“Sussex Police contends that the grant of this licence would add to the existing negative impact and to the challenges already being experienced in the area.
“Eastbourne town centre has a significant and perennial problem with street drinkers who congregate in this area, behaving abusively and intimidating both shopkeepers and passers-by to such an extent that Eastbourne Borough Council has removed the public seating within the Terminus Road area.”