A NEW 24 hour food store has been granted an alcohol license, but an Environmental Health officer has raised concerns about the impact of such stores on local residents.

At a meeting of Bradford Council’s District Licensing Panel, members granted a licence that will allow alcohol to be sold between 7am and 11pm at 24hr General Market.

The store, on Little Horton Lane, opened earlier this month, and the licence would allow it to operate as an off licence as well as a food store.

Members granted the licence despite an Environmental Health officer raising fears that a 24 hour store could lead to noise complaints, and attract groups of people to the area late at night.

The licensing application had been submitted by the store’s owner Taha Al Said, and the proposed premises supervisor will be Hemen Ahmad Hussein.

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Despite the store’s 24 hour opening, members decided to limit the hours alcohol could be sold.

Geoff Dixon represented Mr Said, who did not attend the meeting. Members questioned Mr Said’s experience as a licensee. Mr Dixon said he had no experience, but had taken all the appropriate training.

He pointed out there were numerous other 24 hour stores within a short distance of the market, and said it would be an asset to local residents, adding: “For residents it will be somewhere closer to them for the things they need.”

He said the business employed up to eight staff.

At the meeting Environmental Health officer Neil Winchcombe said: “Broadly speaking we have seen an increase in complaints about noise from premises that are open 24 hours a day.

“This includes noise from people gathering outside the premises and people pulling up outside the premises in their cars, revving engines and playing loud music.”

He pointed out there were a number of residential properties “very close” to this new store.

Mr Winchcombe added: “I don’t want this premises to be open for 24 hours a day full stop. I don’t want the business to open past midnight. It will lead to possible noise disturbances.”

He told members he would have no objection to the business opening early in the morning and closing around midnight. Imposing opening hours on the business would provide the Council with some control, but allowing it to open 24 hours a day would mean the authority could only intervene after any noise disturbances.

Mr Dixon, representing Mr Said, said many of the concerns were based on assumptions, saying: “There is the assumption that because other premises open for 24 hours a day have caused problems in the past, that problems will occur at this building if it opens 24 hours a day.”

He pointed out that West Yorkshire Police had not objected to the licence - something they would have done if they had genuine concerns about the plans.

Referring to the 24 hour opening, he added: “The business is designed to open 24 hours a day - it is very important to the business plan.”

The panel had been asked to grant a licence to serve alcohol between 5am and 2am. But after some deliberation, they instead decided to grant a licence to serve alcohol between 7am and 11pm.