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Jet garage in Hollybush Hill, Wanstead applying to sell alcohol
A garage within walking distance of two hostels for recovering drug users and alcoholics has applied to sell alcohol in its forecourt shop.
Suthakaran Sivasubramanjam, 32, wants to sell booze at the Jet garage in Hollybush Hill, Wanstead where he is leaseholder.
He has already agreed to police requests to amend plans to sell alcohol round the clock and is now asking for a licence between 8am-11pm.
But in a letter sent to Redbridge Council’s Licensing Department, the Metropolitan Police raise further concerns about Mr Sivasubramanjam’s plans.
They write: “Police have looked into the surrounding area which is a residential location with two important premises.
“Both of these premises are half way houses for recovering drug and alcohol users.
“Police feel that having a business selling high strength and spirited drink would be a temptation”
They have asked the council’s licensing committee to stipulate that the garage should not be allowed to sell beers and ciders above 6 per cent in alcohol if they agree to grant a licence.
Mr Sivasubramanjam said: “I agree with everything the police have said and I am happy not to stock high strength alcohol in the shop.
“We already sell tobacco and all staff know how to operate age restriction.
“We certainly will not sell anything to children and we will not serve anyone who is intoxicated.”
He says that the shop accounts for the bulk of his business and has urged the community to get behind his plans.
He added: “We don’t earn much from petrol and if this application is turned down it will threaten my business.”
But the plans have been criticised by some residents living nearby.
Dave Flack, 64, of Highstone Avenue, was one of several people who unsuccessfully opposed plans to open a homeless hostel in Cambridge Park in 2011.
He said: “Perhaps he should look to dropping the price of his petrol before stocking alcohol.
“I will hold my hands up and say that the hostel has been much better than we thought.
“The last thing we need is a scheme like this one which threatens to undermine the success that the hostel has had settling into a community which had major concerns about it.”
A decision on the application will be made on Friday.
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