Locals are opposing plans to allow drinking at a Herefordshire village’s post office and general store.

Marden Village Stores and Post Office licence holder Blue Star Power has said in a licensing application that it intends areas inside and outside the store “will be used for customers who purchase alcohol from these premises”.

The application seeks to vary the current licence to permit both on and off-sales of alcohol from 8am to 11pm, and until 10:30pm on Sundays.

But one resident, their name redacted, said in response to the consultation that “long licensing hours and an early start to drinking are a potential source of problems”.

“There is already a pub in the village, currently not open, which is much more suitable and which I believe is owned by the same family,” this resident added.


Marden Parish Council said that “qualified door staff” would be required to “prevent intrusions” into the premises, while the “large outdoor area… cannot be policed from inside the building”.

The submitted plans appeared to show that drinkers would have to pass through the store in order to visit the toilet, while unaccompanied children from the nearby primary school “would have to cross the designated drinking area to enter the shop”.

“Sound pollution may be a problem, especially in the summertime,” the parish council added, and claimed the store’s bid “lacked critical detail”.

West Mercia Police licensing officer PC Chris Lea also objected to the licence change, “subject to visiting the premises to observe the change of use and its suitability”.

Blue Star Power has already agreed to conditions suggested by county trading standards to ensure suitable staff training and prevention of sale of alcohol to minors.

Herefordshire Council’s licensing sub-committee will decide on the application on Monday (January 16).

A planning application submitted a year ago sought to extend the shop into the neighbouring bungalow and to create a café with external seating, as well as applying timber cladding and a pergola to the front, and creating extra storage room to the rear.

Herefordshire Council approved this last April, concluding that the “enhanced community facility” would “provide social and economic benefits” without giving rise to issues of design, visual amenity, highway safety, drainage or ecology.

The work appears to have since been completed.

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