Gainsborough: Staff fears amid plans to sell booze in shop outside primary school

Concern has been sparked after an empty shop situated next to a primary school filed an application for a licence to sell alcohol with West Lindsey Council.

By Sophie Wills
Tuesday, 16th September 2014, 9:54 am
247 Ropery Road
247 Ropery Road

The shop, on 247 Ropery Road, Gainsborough, is located next to the entrance of Mercer Wood Academy, which is part of the Tall Oaks Academy Trust.

Staff at the school, such as school leader Mrs Wilson, are set to challenge the licensing application, which will allow the shop to supply alcohol just a stone’s throw away from the school during the hours of 6am to 10pm.

A spokesperson for the trust raised issues such as littering, anti-social behaviour and the safety of young pupils.

They said: “Our concerns centre around the inevitable anti-sociable behaviour that will occur directly next door to a place where children have the right to feel safe.”

“We feel that the siting of a licenced premises adjoining a primary school is completely inappropriate.”

“In the past, the Academy has had significant problems with anti-social behaviour and rubbish being thrown onto the site. This can only increase if this licence is granted.”

“Our questions are, why is it necessary to sell alcohol at 6am?

“ How safe can it be to site it adjacent to a primary school?”

“Parents are most concerned about the plans, as are all the staff who will have to deal with this possibility.”

“The Academy will have to ensure there are additional staff at the site entrance to ensure children’s safety because of this,” they added.

A spokesperson for West Lindsey District Council said there would be a 28 day consultation period to determine if the licence should be granted to the new business or not.

They said: “Applications for any licences are expected to make their application in accordance with the Licensing Act and any regulations made there under.”

“Once a valid application is accepted there is a 28 day consultation period where each application will be considered on its own merits.”

“The eight statutory consultees then receive a copy of the application for their consideration.”

“Other persons, such as residents, are also entitled to object to the application if they choose.”

“However, any representations must be directly related to one of the four licensing objections.”

“These are crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and protection of children from harm.”

“Any licence granted is always open to the review process should it become a cause for concern,” they added.