PEOPLE living opposite a former clothes shop in Broadstone have warned that plans to convert it into a restaurant and bar would lead to “the likely possibility of crimes like stabbings”.

A licence application for a restaurant and bar to replace Irene on the corner of Dunyeats Road and Station Approach will be considered next week after attracting objectors including BCP Council leader councillor Vikki Slade.

Martyn Banyard already has planning permission to set up Whittles but has applied for a licence to be able to sell alcohol and play music until 1am seven days a week.

He said the change of use of the building would increase employment opportunities “without detrimental effect to the immediate surroundings”.

But his proposals to serve alcohol until 1am have drawn strong criticism from the residents of the McCarthy and Stone retirement complex opposite.

A final decision on whether to approve the application will be made by a council licensing sub-committee at its meeting on Tuesday (January 21).

Among the objectors is Peter Wheat who said the requested time was “excessively late”.

“It would be an attraction to undesirables, fuelled by alcohol and drugs from elsewhere leading to the likely possibility of crimes like stabbings, robberies and beatings,” he said.

“[This is] so common in areas devoted to boozing and entertainment generally – that is now wanted in Broadstone and should be prevented in all circumstances.”

Council leader Vikki Slade, who represents the Broadstone ward, has urged members of the sub-committee to restrict the bar’s licensed hours to 11pm.

“It was very sad when the previous retail shop closed down and I accept that it is reasonable to convert this building into a restaurant and for this reason I did not object to the planning application,” she said.

“I feel that its use as a restaurant could bring real life to this corner of the street and provide a link between the main Broadway and the Station Approach area.”

But she said she had two issues with the licence application – the impact of noise on the residents of Waterman House and the “public nuisance” late night drinking could case.

She added: “As a community, we welcome this site being brought back into use but its use should be considerate of the local community and I hope that the licence restrictions can balance the needs of the business to that area.”

Eight people have written to the council in support of Mr Banyard’s application, saying the new business would “provide far more choice” to people living in the area.

A final decision will be made at Tuesday’s meeting.