A NEW corner shop can be opened in Broadstone after being granted a licence by BCP Council, despite neighbours’ concerns.

People living next to the Dunyeats Road Post Office had opposed its conversion into a Costcutter store over fears it could become a “24-hour drinking den”.

But a BCP licensing sub-committee agreed to grant the licence last month saying there was no “substantial evidence” to suggest potential issues.

Although the decision was made on January 21, it has only recently been made public through the publishing of the minutes of the meeting.

The application was submitted to BCP Council by Kumarasamy Uthayatharan in November as part of the conversion of the Post Office into a Costcutter shop.

Mr Uthayatharan, who already runs two similar stores in Portsmouth, applied for a licence allowing alcohol to be sold until 11pm seven days a week.

But it attracted 12 letters of objection, including from former council leader councillor Vikki Slade who represents the Broadstone ward.

She said the area was “particularly sensitive” due to nearby retirement complexes, including flats directly above the shop.

“The potential for people purchasing alcohol to drink outside, causing noise, disturbance, smoking and acting in a drunk or disorderly manner outside the property will cause disturbance and distress for the residents above,” she said.

As a result of the opposition, the application was put before a council licensing sub-committee on January 21 for a decision.

And it agreed to grant the licence, saying the concerns raised lacked evidence to support them and that Mr Uthayatharan was “an experienced shopkeeper”.

“While the sub-committee acknowledged the concerns expressed in each of the representations, these concerns appeared to be based on a fear of what may happen in the future should the licence be granted,” the meeting’s minutes say.

“Although understandable, they did not provide any substantial evidence of public nuisance or crime and disorder that could be taken into account when determining the application.”

Councillors also took the fact that Dorset Police had not raised any concerns into account when agreeing to grant the licence.

“The sub-committee heard from the applicant’s representative that the applicant was an experienced shopkeeper and operated two such convenience stores with similar operating hours in heavily residential areas of Portsmouth,” the minutes add. “These premises are currently operating without complaint or issue.”