A CONTROVERSIAL application for a service station to sell alcohol 24 hours a day has been approved.
Residents fear drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour will escalate if Dobshill Service Station, Chester Road, Dobshill, is allowed to sell alcohol around the clock.
They claim cars have been vandalised and a children’s play area has attracted drinkers.
However, Flintshire Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday granted Longacres Filling Station Ltd approval for the variation of a premises licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Paul Sherratt, representing the applicants, said the premises is already open 24 hours a day and restrictions are in place in terms of selling alcohol and security measures.
These include a CCTV system with recordings kept for at least 28 days, as well a Challenge 25 policy when selling alcohol to young people.
Mr Sherratt said the operators already run service stations on Sealand Road, near Chester, and at Trelawnyd, boasting good reputations with no failed test purchases.
“They are responsible operators,” he said. “They are good operators, they uphold the law.”
Police were not present but had requested new security measures, which Mr Sherratt said had been complied with.
Under the terms of the application, no alcohol can be consumed on the premises.
One of the unhappy Chester Road residents, David Ashford, said there have been problems with anti-social behaviour in the village which he linked to drinking.
“The police have been called out a number of times,” he said.
“There has been damage to cars, noise pollution, litter, lots of things.
“We had quite a few cars damaged by people who had been drinking in the early hours of the morning.”
Mr Ashford said broken glass bottles had been found in a nearby children’s play area.
He said he believed many of the troublemakers were passing through Dobshill after going out elsewhere.
“Giving a 24 hour licence will only potentially add to these issues and make it worse,” he said.
“It will make us a magnet.”
Mr Sherratt said it needed to be established if there was a “causal link” that could prove any anti-social behaviour was linked to the service station selling alcohol.
He said the alleged incidents with cars being vandalised took place before his clients took over the premises last November.
The committee, chaired by Cllr Tony Sharps and including councillors Mike Reece and Jim Falshaw, graned the licence.
Cllr Sharps said: “We as a panel have our own thoughts on 24-hour drinking. That will remain between the three of us. However, we have a government policy we have to adhere to.”
Opponents of the application will have the right to appeal.