A 77-strong petition was not enough to prevent a new shop in a Herefordshire town getting an all-night alcohol licence.

Given the strength of opposition locally, the application relating to the new Morrisons Daily in Kington High Street was passed to Herefordshire’s licensing subcommittee to decide yesterday (Monday November 13).

Town councillor Martin Woolford said the town council “objects quite strongly” to the move, by the shop’s new owner Samy Limited, which he said would prompt people to drive to the town, possibly under the influence of alcohol, to shop there.


“Allowing 24-hour purchase of alcohol will exasperate local misuse, crime and disorder,” he said. “The public nuisance will be quite considerable.”

Local resident, shopkeeper and bed & breakfast owner Ali Allen said she had put together the petition opposing the licence “pretty quickly”.

“It’s incredibly disruptive to have drunk people outside my premises, the sound exacerbated by the narrow street,” she said. “A 24-hour licence is unnecessary and potentially damaging to the town.”

Robert Botkai, solicitor for the applicant, said that “many, if not most” of Samy’s 50-odd stores, operating under different badges mostly in residential areas, already have 24-hour licences, and that none of these had been subject to subsequent review.

“It tends to be residents, not officers, who oppose these,” he said. “Their concerns have not materialised.”

The Kington shop “has already been open 24-hours since September without issue”, he added. “This move won’t have any impact on the specialness of the town.”

Having not seen the petition, he asked whether this was because council officials had not accepted it.

Licensing officer Emma Bowell said the council had accepted it but had not published it due to data protection rules.

Mr Botkai replied: “I would ask the committee to attach very little weight to this invisible document.”

Announcing the granting of the licence, committee chair Coun Polly Andrews said: “We fully recognise the concerns raised by the public.

“You can go to the licensing department with any evidence-based concerns that you have.”