INQUIRY: No power to restrict off-licences

BOSTON Borough Council’s licensing team has no power to restrict the number of off-licences opening in the town, the inquiry was told last week.

Fiona White, the council’s principal licensing officer said legislation dictated that unless an application for a licence did not meet the necessary criteria, it was not possible to turn it down.

She added that the authority could not refuse a licence because of speculation about crime or public disorder.

Since 2007, 31 off-licences have opened, and 18 have closed.