A SOUTHBOURNE convenience store will be allowed to sell alcohol, despite former license breaches at the premises, councillors have decided.

Following a two-hour meeting yesterday they decided that More the Merrier in Kimberley Road should be allowed to continue selling alcohol but with strict restrictions.

Owner Muzaffer Oksuz - who does not hold a license to sell alcohol - was told that a personal licence holder would have to be present on the premises 'at all times that alcohol sales are made'.

A new Designated Premises Supervisor was agreed, and the hearing was told that along with Mr Oksuz's wife, who is a license holder, two other licensees were now agreed for the premises.

In September, Dorset Police requested a review of of the licence of More the Merrier in Kimberley Road, claiming that owner Muzaffer Oksuz had repeatedly breached a condition banning him from selling alcohol on the premises.

The condition was made following a hearing in 2007 when Mr Oksuz was fined in court after admitting selling alcohol to minors.

In September police said: "We can evidence that the premises licence holder Mustaffer Oksuz has consistently sold alcohol at the premises since 2008."

However, they had agreed to a mediation process to explore possible solutions to the issue so long as they were 'robustly adhered to'. The committee was told that more than 100 customers had signed a petition asking for the store to keep its license and councillors heard that being unable to sell alcohol would not make it viable.

The committee was told by Licensing Consultant David Ramsey that after the breach hearing on 2008, Mr Oksuz's solicitor had been closed down by the regulatory authority.

He said the shopkeeper had not understood he was banned from selling alcohol personally after the initial ban because: "There was no correspondence in the file from the solicitor who dealt with the appeal and although ignorance is not a defence he was not aware of the condition."

Following the hearing Mr Oksuz said he was 'very happy' with the decision and that his store's customers would be too.