Convenience store secures alcohol licence amid 'malicious' sabotage fears
- Credit: Submitted
A convenience store has been granted a licence to sell alcohol - despite "malicious" complaints threatening to derail its bid.
Variety Food Store 199, on Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth, was the subject of a "malicious attack" according to owner Vania Loures.
She claimed at a Great Yarmouth Borough Council licensing sub-committee meeting on January 27 that the 29 objections lodged against her proposal had come not from neighbours but a business owner "scared of competition".
"It has come to my attention that a business owner nearby had a form on his desk and was asking customers to sign it, which I don't think is right on his part", she said.
The objection letters included what meeting chairman Graham Carpenter referred to as "serious and unjustified" allegations.
All were simply template replicas with different signatures at the bottom.
You may also want to watch:
They suggested another off licence would "increase the crime rate", "encourage children to make the wrong choices" and make the community unsafe for "family and the elderly".
One template even included the claim that Ms Loures would be selling illegal cigarettes - which she strongly denied.
- 1 County welcomes tankers but motorists continue to queue for fuel
- 2 Key workers share 'unnecessary and frustrating' impact of panic-buying
- 3 Revealed: Where most parking tickets have been issued in Norfolk
- 4 Controversy reignited over 300 home scheme on edge of Norwich
- 5 Norfolk wakes up to empty pumps – despite assurances of ‘ample fuel stocks’
- 6 Huge seaside home with indoor pool for sale for £600,000
- 7 Search continues for man with knife who chased victim into KFC
- 8 Man dies in hospital after fight near Norfolk pub
- 9 Jailed in Norfolk: Paedophiles and man caught with £15k of cannabis
- 10 Weird Norfolk: Is Diss Mere the waterlogged crater of an extinct volcano?
"It's so frustrating. It's a malicious attack," she said.
"People can purchase alcohol anywhere on the street. There's a 24-hour garage a couple of doors down.
"If they don't get alcohol from me, there's plenty of other places to get it.
"There's already three shops and other pubs that sell alcohol on the road."
Ms Loures dismissed the concerns about crime as disingenuous, and gave the example of Gorleston as somewhere with a "large number" of off-licences but "one of the lowest crime rates in the area".
Variety Food Store 199 opened two months ago, and Mr Carpenter pointed out that "no responsible authorities" had objected to Ms Loures bid to sell alcohol from 7am-11pm Monday - Saturday and 8am - 9pm on Sundays.
He said: "Many serious allegations have been made in objections: none of which have been justified by the evidence heard today."
"The application is reasonable, and the licence is granted without any further conditions," he concluded.
Attempts were made to contact competitors for comment but were not successful.