Bargain Booze shop go-ahead

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Plans to build a Bargain Booze store on a Melton housing estate have been narrowly approved despite residents’ fierce objections.

Applicant Amarjit Singh had applied for planning permission to develop the Bargain Booze Select convenience store on land next to the existing One Stop shop on Grange Drive.

Residents were concerned that another shop would generate more traffic, putting people’s safety at risk, and cause more parking problems in the area.

Objectors also claimed the shop would lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour and litter and that its competition with the One Stop store could potentially lead to job losses.

Melton Council’s planning committee discussed the new shop proposals on Thursday.

Pat Reid, the council’s regulatory services manager, said there was no evidence another shop would add to anti-social behaviour or disturbance, though he wasn’t aware the shop was to become a Bargain Booze outlet until informed by residents at the meeting.

Councillor Alison Freer-Jones said: “An extra shop there is going to cause more traffic problems and, balanced on the need, I don’t think there’s a need for another shop.”

Councillor Elaine Holmes added: “I think another outlet would probably make it more dangerous on that road.”

Also concerned on highways safety grounds was councillor John Illingworth who said: “ I think highways safety is a key factor.

“If you increase the number of people pulling up you increase the hazard. Ninety nine per cent of visitors will drive in forwards to park and have to reverse out.”

But councillor Pat Cumbers believed the new shop would ‘increase people’s choice’, adding she would ‘support more little local shops in principle.”

Mr Reid explained to the committee: “All we’re looking at here is A1 retail use.

“It would require a licence for the shop to serve alcohol. If there were concerns from the police that would affect whether that licence would be granted.”

Applicant Mr Singh had also claimed the new shop ‘would improve the area by utilising an area which attracts a number of anti-social behaviour issues.’

To residents’ dismay a proposal to grant planning permission, subject to conditions, was approved by five votes to four.