COUNCILLORS have granted an alcohol licence for a new convenience store in Boscombe, despite concerns it could exacerbate issues of crime and anti-social behaviour.

A BCP Council licensing sub-committee approved plans for the Malinka Market following a meeting earlier this week but imposed stricter times than had originally been requested.

Its formal decision notice says concerns had been “acknowledged” but that it was “satisfied” there would be no issues.

The application was submitted by Ali Omar Abdullah at the end of last year and sought permission to sell alcohol from 6am until 11pm seven days a week.

Speaking at the March 3 sub-committee meeting, his solicitor Devon Small said the business, in the former Store Twenty One unit in Christchurch Road, would be reliant on this income.

But the application attracted opposition from people living nearby to the shop and Boscombe ward councillor Jane Kelly, who said it was already too easy for people to buy alcohol in the area.

“The incidence of crime and disorder is very high across Boscombe but particularly in the precinct where, during the day, many individuals are seen on the benches drinking and behaving in an intimidating and anti-social manner,” she said.

No objection was lodged by any council department nor by Dorset Police

This was cited by councillors when agreed to approve the application but with a restriction on the hours of the licence to 9am-11pm each day. This was agreed with Mr Small.

Although the decision was made at the March 3 meeting, the ruling has only been made public with the publication of the formal decision notice.

“The sub-committee acknowledged the concerns raised…but were satisfied that the application would not undermine the licensing objectives if run in accordance with the operating schedule and the conditions agreed,” it says.

“Members were satisfied with the input from the responsible authorities and noted that there were no formal objections arising from these bodies.

“This included Dorset Police, which the licensing committee looks to as its main source of information regarding issues of crime and disorder.”

They have also enforced limits on the strength of alcohol sold from the shop and have required that a minimum of two staff members be on site during working hours.