The new Co-op store due to open in the Grotton Hotel building has been given a licence to sell alcohol for up to 14 hours a day.
Oldham Council’s Licensing Panel agreed yesterday that the shop should be allowed to sell booze between 8am and 10pm every day except Sundays, when the hours will be 10am to 10pm.
The Co-op had initially applied for a licence for the hours of 6am to 11pm. According to paperwork presented to the panel, that was reduced following discussions with the police.
More than 60 objections to the licence were received by the panel, as residents and councillors raised questions over issues such as anti-social behaviour, litter and possible underage drinking. As part of the licence, the Co-op must install extensive CCTV and follow several other conditions.
However, concerns from local traders about the possible impact the new shop might have on their businesses could not be considered by the panel, which was only allowed to look at the issues specifically surrounding the alcohol licence. Given that the police did not object to the 8am to 10pm licence, there was no prospect of the panel rejecting the Co-op’s revised application.
It’s understood that a meeting will now be held between Co-op representatives and local people next month, at which residents’ concerns will be discussed further.
Earlier this month, Mark Hughes, one of the owners of the Grotton Hotel who has run the pub for the past few years, used this website to defend his decision to deal with the Co-op.
He commented: “If the local community had shown more support the pub may have been successful. Do you really want another Star Inn or Bridge Inn pub sat there falling down making the area look a disgrace? The Co-op will bring a new lease of life to Grotton, this really was the best option as we were pursued by McDonalds, KFC, and various other companies.”
In a recent statement to Saddleworth News, the Co-op said: “We hope to serve the local community by providing quality products and excellent customer service.”
I wasn’t at yesterday’s meeting because of the usual childcare issues, but someone from the Oldham Chronicle was, and their report of the proceedings is available here.