doc

A NEWSAGENT has been granted an alcohol licence — despite local schools and neighbours claim it will lead to alcohol-related crime.

Ary Muhamed, who has run Smaczek in Derby Street, Daubhill since 2008, submitted an application for a licence to sell alcohol between 8am and 11pm.

The licence was granted with an amendment to the hours — from 10am until 11pm — to bring it in line with other shops in the area.

In his application, Mr Muhamed stated that he will operate a challenge 25 policy, train staff appropriately and use compliance log books to help the police and authorities to carry out any investigations relating to crime.

However Sunning Hill Primary School chairman of governors, Farook Atcha, raised concerns about how near the shop is to the school and its impact on pupils if the licence was granted.

He said: “I have been here for 40 years and I know people congregate outside that shop. Being so close to the school, people under the influence of alcohol may cause a nuisance for the school.”

June Clarke, representing Mr Muhamed, said the objections were “based on presumption and fear” and not fact.

She added: “You say you have been in the area for a long time but you can’t recall one incident.

“Since February, 2013, there have been four burglaries, one anti-social behaviour incident, one theft and one vehicle crime incident. Nothing in 18 months is alcohol-related.”

Written objections were also made by Bolton Muslim Girls’ School and Mohammad Razzak, written on behalf of local residents, who submitted a petition with 29 names.

Ms Clarke added: “The application is very standard. It is not asking for anything out of the normal for trading hours. My client has experience in selling alcohol. He just wants to carry on his business.”

Bolton Council’s licensing committee granted the licence, making the amendment to the hours of trade.