Store may close after licence refusal

Terminus Road Eastbourne. Shops opposite the railway station. January 16th 2013 E03138P
Terminus Road Eastbourne. Shops opposite the railway station. January 16th 2013 E03138P

A businessman fears he may have to close his doors after being open for just three months because the council has refused him an alcohol licence.

Sultan Rahmani opened Kass convenience store opposite the railway station in November last year but says his business is struggling because he is unable to sell alcohol. The unit used to be home to Threshers – which sold alcohol – but had remained empty for some time after that firm went into administration.

Mr Rahmani said, “I’m sitting here from morning until night and I make about £200 a day. I can’t afford to employ someone else, the council has their business rates, how am I going to survive?”

The 36-year-old said the alcohol licence had been revoked twice by Eastbourne Borough Council and that the police had objected to the licence.

He added, “Once I can sell wine I can then sell bread, newspapers and so on. With no alcohol licence people walk out without anything. People like to get their goods in just one place. I was thinking of selling or shutting the doors. If you want to put restrictions on alcohol just do it to everybody.”

A council spokesperson said, “The application for a new premises licence to sell alcohol off the premises was refused on the grounds that the premises was located in the Council’s Cumulative Impact Zone, where there are already significant issues relating to alcohol related crime and disorder, particularly amongst the street drinking community.

“The Cumulative Impact Policy comes into effect if a representation is lodged and states that the area has reached saturation point in relation to licensed premises, but it is for the applicant to prove that an additional premises will not undermine the Licensing Objectives, particularly crime, disorder and public nuisance. In this instance, members did not feel that the applicant had provided evidence to set this policy aside, and refused the application. The applicant has a right of appeal.”