Spalding shop denied permission to sell alcohol 16 hours a day in run-up to Christmas
A Spalding shop has been barred from selling alcohol over extended hours during a seven-day period at Christmastime.
South Holland District Council turned down an application from 7 Days Euro Shop, in Westlode Street, for a temporary event notice (TEN) to sell alcohol for up to 16 hours a day from December 20 to 26 inclusive after a hearing on Tuesday.
Lincolnshire Police objected to the application from shop owner Hewa Atapattu after a "test purchase" visit in August this year when cigarettes were sold to two volunteers aged under 18.
A TEN objection report for the district council's licensing panel said: "Lincolnshire Police and trading standards officers test purchased the premises for tobacco with two under 18-year-old volunteers on August 13, 2019.
"Cigarettes were sold to the children and the packaging of those cigarettes was outdated and non-compliant with the present legislation.
"Further non-compliant products were found on the tobacco gantry and Lincolnshire Police is aware from dealing with the previous owners of the premises that they did not sell legal cigarettes."
Police also raised concerns that the "test purchase" took place when Mr Atapattu's wife, who sold the cigarettes to the young volunteers, was at the shop and looking after three children aged 12 and under.
Another concern was Mr Atapattu's "lack of experience" in selling alcohol and tobacco, with the police stating that he was given a personal alcohol sales licence in October this year, more than six years after passing the test required by law to get one.
The report said: "Ms Atapattu stated that she and her husband had recently taken over the business and the tobacco products were old stock left behind by the previous owners.
"However, the premises need an experienced and knowledgeable operator who is aware of the issues within Spalding and will make sure they will not add to them.
"Lincolnshire Police has serious concerns surrounding this premises selling alcohol without any enforceable conditions, with a history of selling age-restricted products to children.
"The products sold were not compliant with current packaging legislation and the reason behind possessing them is questionable."
In its decision, the licensing panel said: "Given there had been an under-age sale of cigarettes in August and also historic problems with these premises, it would not promote the licensing objectives to allow the sale of alcohol from these premises with no conditions at all in force."
Mr Atapattu can appeal against the council's decision to a magistrates' court within 21 days from Tuesday's hearing.