A 24-HOUR licence to serve alcohol has been granted to a soon-to-open Bradford store – despite concerns from neighbours.

In an at-times heated licensing meeting in Bradford City Hall, residents claimed all day booze sales would increase anti-social behaviour in the Allerton area.

Lukas Kazlauskas had applied for the licence for 263 Allerton Road, a former bookmakers. He currently runs a smaller shop on the opposite side of the street, which has a licence to open between 6am and midnight.

At a meeting of Bradford Council’s Licensing Panel on Tuesday, he told members that the existing store would close once he moves into the larger premises. The move was planned due to the businesses’ success – members heard.

Members also heard that the building had been used as a cannabis farm since the Coral bookmakers shut.

Three objections to the licence had been sent to the Council – raising concern about customers parking on nearby streets, anti-social behaviour and littering.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Kazlauskas, Tahir Ayub said: “This application is for him to move to a bigger premises. This is not the case of opening another shop selling the same goods.

“The premises across the road has had a licence for a year, and there have been no issues reported – no issues raised by the police, council or anyone else. The objections to this licence come as a bit of a surprise.

“While concerns have been raised about anti-social behaviour, these are issues we have in society. It is not fair to blame a business acting in accordance with its licence to be prohibited from expanding over concerns of existing issues.”

The panel pointed out that it was not as simple as moving the same licence to a new premises – this licence was for 24 hours, six hours longer than the existing store’s licence.”

Rhys Thackray, one of the objectors to the plan, told the panel there were two halfway houses that supported recovering drug addicts and alcoholics.

He said: “Having a 24-hour licensed shop would be an invitation to people with these issues to go back to their old ways.

“The community don’t want this shop operating between midnight and 6am.”

He said the store would cause economic damage to other nearby businesses such as Aldi.

Customers would likely park in neighbouring unadopted roads, causing parking and littering issues – he claimed.

His father, Darren Thackray, said: “In the past we’ve had crack smokers congregating on the street – I’m not going through all that again. If this shop opens with 24 hours licence we’ll have all that again.

“All the delinquents that used to come down here will start coming back again. We don’t want our peace wrecked just because he wants to open an extra six hours.”

After deliberating, the panel voted to approve the licence.