Fears of loitering 'undesirables' dismissed as kiosk's alcohol bid approved
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A kiosk's bid to sell alcohol has been approved - despite concerns it will encourage "undesirable" street drinkers and prevent families from enjoying the seafront.
Great Yarmouth's sub-licensing committee gave the go-ahead on Tuesday for Pjeter Doda, owner of The Times newsagents on Marine Parade, to sell alcohol from their kiosk between 8am-11pm from Easter to the end of October.
Objections had been raised by Great Yarmouth borough councillor Tony Wright, as well as the owner of nearby family-run amusement park Joyland.
Both shared fears over "street drinking", an increase in anti-social behaviour and the potential reputational damage to an area visited mainly by families in the summer months.
Speaking on behalf of the applicant, June Clarke said it was not for her client to control other people's behaviour.
She said: "People might well buy alcohol from the newsagents and sit on the benches and drink it.
"But police can confiscate alcohol from anyone who is drinking and engaging in antisocial behaviour."
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She added that alcohol itself "is not a dangerous product", but that "it is the drinker who is dangerous".
"If the drinker wants to be a danger to themselves and others that is their responsibility," she said.
Ms Clarke said Mr Doda has sold other age-restricted products for five years without incident, and that "the only change" being proposed is the installation of a small alcohol fridge behind the counter which would be operated by an employee at all times.
Councillor Wright, however, said he was sick of constantly seeing empty beer bottles and cider cans along the seafront.
"I do understand this is a police issue, but as a councillor covering this particular area I already have enough issues to deal with", he said.
"I see prevention as better than a cure."
Michael Cole, speaking on behalf of Joyland, said he did not want "undesirables" giving tourists a bad impression of Yarmouth's Golden Mile.
He added that police were "stretched as it is", and that this would give them "more work and more of a headache".
But after deliberation among committee councillors, chair Graham Plant informed Mr Doda his application had been successful.
He said no responsible authorities had objected and the behaviour of the public was not the responsibility of the licence holder.