Residents and councillors in the Weston area of Bath have started gathering signatures for a petition against plans to sell alcohol from 6am to 11pm, seven days a week at a new Tesco store in the village. A planning application has been submitted to convert the Somerfield on Weston High Street into a Tesco convenience store opening from six in the morning until eleven o’clock at night. The Somerfield store currently only opens from 8am Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 10:30pm on Sundays.
Local residents have said their biggest concern is the extension of the store’s licence to allow it to sell alcohol all the hours it is open. Concerns have been raised about the impact of selling alcohol from the early morning to late evening on anti-social behaviour and teenage drinking.
Conservative councillor Colin Barrett (Weston), who is spearheading the campaign against the extended licence, has said he will also speak with Tesco to ask what security measures such as CCTV can be installed at the shop to deter alcohol-related disorder.
“I can’t see any need for alcohol to be sold from the earliest hours of the morning, especially on Sundays. My concern is that selling alcohol from early morning until late in the evening could encourage anti-social behaviour. Weston village is a close community and most residents I’ve spoken with agree that granting such a long licence would be wrong for our area.
“Somerfield’s opening hours have served residents very well for several years and extending them could also impact on trade in other local shops. I’m not against Tesco opening on the High Street, but they need to ensure they work with the local community and cater for their needs. I plan on working with Tesco to ensure their security is robust and that underage drinking is tackled.”
Petitions against the extended licence have been distributed among local shops in Weston for residents to sign. If anyone wishes to obtain a copy of the petition Colin has asked local residents to contact him.