Plans for a fifth off licence in Kirton passed despite opposition

Site for a proposed fifth off licence in Kirton. 47, London Road, Kirton. EMN-140403-110856001
Site for a proposed fifth off licence in Kirton. 47, London Road, Kirton. EMN-140403-110856001

An application to change a village car showroom into a grocery store has been passed despite opposition from residents and ward councillors.

The store, on London Road, will be the fifth off licence in the village and concerns were raised over safety, anti-social behaviour and the impact on the local economy.

Speaking on behalf of residents to the planning committee on Wednesday, Sam Chapman said: “There are currently four stores selling alcohol.”

He added: “Since the opening of the fourth store all the businesses have noticed a decrease in trade. Should a fifth one open, it will dilute income further.”

Parish councillors Colin Brotherton and Alan Lee also opposed the plans pointing to the decline of the ‘town centre’, however, they were told by officers that Kirton doesn’t have a defined centre according to planning rules.

Worries that it was on a junction and t cars would park on the road at busy times, and that the business opening late could cause anti-social behaviour were also rebuked.

Councillors were reminded that planning officers could not place restrictions on opening hours, however the applicant Anna McNeish said she would be willing to cut opening hours if anti-social behaviour became a problem for residents.

Ms McNeish, who said she had 14 years of retail experience and 10 years managing stores, said the store owners wanted to be ‘sympathetic to neighbours’. She said the business would be covered by CCTV and that after sitting outside the business with her partner, she did not believe it would generate more traffic.

Coun Alison Austin, ‘at the risk of being unpopular with the residents’ also supported the application, saying she remembered there being two grocery stores in that area which had closed.

The plan was passed by the committee 10-3.