An Ilford Lane petrol station withdrew its application to sell alcohol 24 hours a day in the middle of a council meeting to decide it.

Loxford Service Station asked the council for permission to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, with the condition that night-time sales would only be through a third-party delivery service.

Despite the fact no alcohol would be sold on-site after 11pm, when the current licence ends, residents and councillors expressed concerns the change would contribute to crime in the area.

Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee met on June 2 to discuss the application but, according to a council spokesperson, the business withdrew the application during the hearing.

Community action group Clean Up Ilford Lane tweeted: “Petrol station opposite mosque on Ilford Lane withdrew application to sell alcohol for 24 hrs at hearing. Win for the community.

“Thanks to all local community groups. It’s because of all of us working together that we have a voice, one that must be heard.”

Cllr Paul Canal (Con, Bridge) previously wrote to the sub-committee: “I am not aware of an area in London, let alone Redbridge, that has suffered from the same level of crime as Ilford Lane.

“It has an ongoing problem with prostitution, believed to involve women who are trafficked and forced into this line of work.

“The availability of alcohol on Ilford Lane would exacerbate an already untenable situation, allowing 'punters', sex workers and their pimps access to alcohol.”

A representative of the Loxford and Clementswood Residents Association, Clare Patterson, said that, in her view, residents “would prefer more restrictions” rather than less.

The service station will retain its original licence to sell alcohol from 8am to 11pm.

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