A CONTROVERSIAL application allowing a new convenience store to sell alcohol until 11pm has been granted at appeal.
OM Projects Ltd received the nod to press ahead with plans for a Spar store on the site of the disused Morris garage on Wrexham Road in Mold, in a move which could create 24 jobs.
The move came despite objections from residents who fear the late opening hours could cause anti-social behaviour in the area, after the store near Ysgol Maes Garmon was granted a late alcohol licence earlier this year.
The Welsh Government appointed planning inspectorate announced on Friday it would be siding with the applicant and allow opening until 11pm six days a week, following an appeal hearing in July.
Having originally been granted its requested opening hours by a Flintshire Council licensing committee, a council planning committee opted to slash the opening times in April. This prompted the applicant to launch an appeal amid threats to pull out of the development.
The report states: “The sale of alcohol, or attempts to control its sale, is not a planning matter and it would be inappropriate to impose a condition to this effect.”
Having initially wanted to remain open from 6am-11pm, seven-days-a-week, the new Spar store will be allowed to open 7am to 10pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
Inspector Mr GP Thomas said: “While I sympathise and acknowledge the deeply held concerns of the local residents, there is no evidence to support the assertions that customers visiting the store during the hours sought by the appellant would lead to noise and anti-social behaviour. I conclude that, subject to appropriate conditions, the proposal would not cause unacceptable harm to the living conditions of residents in the area.”
Mold county councillor for Broncoed, Haydn Bateman, who acted on behalf of residents, said: “I am disappointed. I attended a hearing at County Hall [Flintshire Council headquarters] with residents who expressed concerns about noise, disturbance and anti-social behaviour of the late hours.”
Conditions to be met by the applicant include new raised pavements, pedestrian safety, redevelopment to the entrance of Brook Street and Conwy Street and the suspension of deliveries at peak school times.