Great Yarmouth post office fails in 24hr alcohol bid - but can sell booze until 1am every day
- Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher
A post office in Great Yarmouth has won permission to sell alcohol until 1am every day.
Owners of the St Peter's Road premises – near the seafront – had applied for a 24-hour licence, but were turned down amid fears over anti-social behaviour.
And while nearby Express Stores has a 24-hour licence, licensing councillors stopped short of granting the same to the post office.
Linda Mockford, licensing manager for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the Express Stores application was granted years ago by a previous licensing committee.
And the committee which heard the application last Thursday acknowledged concerns from police, ruling the post office could sell alcohol from 6.30am to 1am seven days a week.
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'Councillors felt commercial issues aren't really an issue for licensing,' added Ms Mockford.
Sutharsam Sundaralingam, 32, and his wife Gaarthiga, 28, took over the post office three months ago after moving to the area from London.
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They said they needed to investigate new ways to stay profitable - hoping to make the post office more like a supermarket - and were overjoyed with the outcome of the licensing hearing.
Mrs Sutharsam said: 'I'm more than happy with the decision.
'My husband really hoped we might get it [the 24-hour licence] so we could open a couple of hours longer, but I just want to get it sorted.'
She stressed they had never planned to keep the post office open 24 hours per day, but hoped to open until 3am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Mr Sundaralingam, who lodged the licensing application, said measures had been taken to ensure there was no trouble.
He said eight CCTV cameras had been installed and he would keep the recordings for 31 days.
Front windows had been double glazed and shutters put on, incident logbooks would be kept and a Challenge 25 policy used.
He also said two staff would be on duty after 11pm every day, and councillors said they must make training records and logbooks available for inspection.
Extended hours will begin on March 1 and the owners stressed all post office functions would continue as before.
Objectors to the 24-hour licence - including police, environmental health officers and Nelson ward councillor Michael Jeal - had argued alcohol sale would increase drunken disorder.
Police had requested that no alcohol be sold after midnight.