Residents fail in bid to block Upper Holloway off licence

The site of the new shop

The site of the new shop - Credit: Archant

A shop has been given the go ahead to sell alcohol despite 24 people – including the head of a primary school – opposing the move and Islington Council promising to toughen up on drink to tackle the borough’s chronic booze problem.

The store, in Holloway Road, was granted permission to sell alcohol from 8am to 11pm seven days a week at a meeting of the licensing committee last week, despite the fierce resistance.


Last autumn the town hall called an emergency summit to combat problem drinking following the news that one in 20 deaths in Islington is linked to the bottle – as well as the borough having the second highest number of alcohol-related health problems, drink-related crime and disorder, and number of licensed premises per head in the whole of London.

A promise was made at the meeting to strengthen the borough’s licensing policy to control the number, type and opening hours of premises.

Nitsa Sergide, head of Grafton primary School close to the Upper Holloway shop, said “We are very concerned about this and we fear that yet another shop selling alcohol will be very detrimental to the children’s safety.”

A resident added: “At the weekend there is always trouble and a lot of drunk people. We are scared to go outside and don’t want a new shop.

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Another said: “There are too many drunk people around and at the weekend it is very dangerous.”

A third expressed concerns and added that it was a “public nuisance and “encouraging children to a drinking habit”.

Cllr Wally Burgess, chair of the committee who approved the licence, said: “It was a very close thing and we had to strike a balance. One person came to object but it was a very down to earth meeting.

“It looks as if the premises won’t be a burden on area, by bringing drinking and other problems.

“And hopefully it will work out, but if things turn bad it will be sorted out. It will be an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth – if they start messing about we will be on to them very quickly.”

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