‘Premium spirts shop’ gets alcohol licence, despite landlord not wanting it

Matthew Dakers. Pic: Norwich City Council.

Matthew Dakers. Pic: Norwich City Council. - Credit: Archant

A licence has been granted for a “premium spirits shop” on a city street - despite a string of objections, including from the owners of the building it would be in.

A licence has been granted for a building on St Benedicts Street, even though the owners of the property do not want alcohol ...

A licence has been granted for a building on St Benedicts Street, even though the owners of the property do not want alcohol to be sold therel. Picture: Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

Members of Norwich City Council’s licensing committee granted a licence for Dakers Drinks in St Benedicts Street, despite the unusual backdrop, with the property’s owners not wanting it to be allowed.

Applicant Matthew Dakers applied for a premises licence to open a ‘bottle shop’ or ‘off-licence’ at 27, St Benedicts Street, saying the intention was to run a “premium spirits shop”.

While police did not make any representations, there were five objections, including from Paul and Suzanne Ives, the owners of the building the off-licence would be in.

They said Mr Dakers was not their tenant and they did not support the application.

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He is the brother of Micky Dakers, who runs Think Property estate agency from the building.

Mr Dakers told the committee he owns a premium gin and a liqueur - brands which had been affected “very heavily” by the coronavirus pandemic.

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He said he had talked to his brother about selling them from the shop. He said he wanted a licence to “explore different avenues”, such as selling the spirits alongside the estate agency business.

He explained the application was in his name, rather than his brother’s name, as he had 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.

Mr Dakers said the objection from the landlords had come as a surprise to him, as he thought his brother had been in communication with them.

He said: “This is actually quite embarrassing for me sitting here and my brother knows that as well. I know there’s still communication between him and the landlord about other paths we could find as a resolve about this.” He said his brother would be a silent partner in Dakers Drinks. He said the plan was to keep the estate agency, but also allow the sale of bottles of gin.

But Oliver Chapman, on behalf of the landlords, said: “The first we knew about the application was when we found it on the city council website. We knew nothing about it whatsoever.”

He said the landlord was “not interested in having a licensed premise in one of his shops”. Mr Dakers said he hoped the landlord would overturn that decision.

The committee unanimously granted the licence, but chairman Ian Stutely acknowledged the issue between the parties meant it might not happen.

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