FEARS of increased drug use and disorder have been sparked by an alcohol licensing application for a former post office.

Sivananthan Kandasamy, owner of the mini-mart at 109 High Street, Chipping Ongar, requested permission to sell alcohol from Epping Forest Council in November.

The bid incensed residents of the historic market town concerned the accessible drink and extended opening hours - from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week - would lead to an increase in anti-social behavior.

Some, including Mrs R Monaghan, took pen to paper ahead of the council's licensing sub-committee next week when the application will be considered.

She said: "Incidence of crime is generally low level which the police rarely respond to.

"However it is often fueled by alcohol. Broken shop windows and damaged cars occur late at night.

"I have had several cars damaged this way. I believe another premise in the town center selling alcohol is unnecessary and would increase the likelihood of crime."

Concerns of vandalism at the convenience store, which housed the town's post office until November 9, were shared by Sheila Bundy.

She added: "If alcohol is sold I believe that it will cause problems for the residents that live very close.

"The Royal Oak has a noise abatement order against it because of the intolerable noise from drinkers outside.

"Why do we need another convenience store selling alcohol when there are already three places where it can be bought - Tesco's, Sainsbury's and Londis?"

The application will be considered by the council at 10am on January 9.

21CenturyLicensing, working on behalf of Mr Kandasamy, was contacted for comment.