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Booze bid in town rejected

TAKEAWAY owner Mehmet Karakus has been refused permission to sell alcohol at his Bognor Regis business.


Mr Karakus wanted to provide the drinks to customers of Best Kebab from 1pm to midnight every day.


But councillors rejected his bid because they feared selling the beer and wine would increase crime in the town centre.


Arun District Council licensing sub-committee chairman Cllr Alan Cooper said: “Unfortunately, the applicant failed to make any meaningful proposal as to how he would uphold the objectives (of the Licensing Act), in particular, those detailed by the responsible authorities relating to crime and disorder and public nuisance.”


Mr Karakus had failed to show how selling alcohol from his premises in Queensway would stop further crimes occurring in the area in the early hours, Cllr Cooper said.


The decision last Friday came after Mr Karakus originally applied to Arun to sell alcohol from 1pm daily to 1am Mondays to Wednesdays, 1pm-3am Thursdays, 1pm-4am Fridays and Saturdays and 1pm-1am on Sundays.


He also wanted to remove the need to pay for a security person to be on duty from 1.30am until closing time on his late nights.


He later limited the hours he wanted to supply alcohol to those he told the sub-committee and said he would keep the door staff on Saturdays.


“I just want to sell alcohol to my customers and with my delivery service,” he said. “If a person comes in drunk, I will not sell them alcohol. I don’t need door staff on Friday because it is very quiet. Not many people come in my shop.”


But Sarah Meerten, Arun’s licensing manager, said an extra alcohol outlet in the town centre was likely to add to its violence and vandalism.


“The addition of alcohol with the removal of door staff demonstrates that the applicant is not considering the local area. He is only considering the needs of their business.


“What we have heard today does not re-assure me the applicant has demonstrated he is capable of selling alcohol without any impact on the local area,” she said.


Arun’s senior regeneration officer, Caroline Gosford, said Queensway had benefited from more shops, flats and public area improvements in the past five years.


“We feel that all those improvements could be jeopardised by the anti-social behaviour happening now. We feel this application is not going to make it less and only make it worse,” she said.


Barrister Peter Saville, for Sussex Police, said: “The police do not feel the conditions offered by the applicant are any good.


“They are, in the view of the police, cut and pasted from other applications. They are not tailored conditions.


“Overall, probably a significant number of customers using these premises will already have taken some alcohol. That brings with it the risk of conflict. Premises of this nature are particular sources of risk.”


Sussex Police also detailed four 999 calls around the premises since 2015 to justify their concerns.

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