Angel newsagents' booze bid sparks concerns for more antisocial behaviour

Angel Food and News in Duncan Street, Angel

Angel Food and News in Duncan Street, Angel - Credit: Google

Neighbours of an Angel newsagents are worried antisocial behaviour could increase if it is allowed to sell booze all day.  

Bosses at Angel Food and News, in Duncan Street want permission to remain open around the clock, seven days a week, as well as to sell alcohol from 8am until 11pm.

But a dozen objectors, including Cllr Martin Klute are worried that allowing them to do so could "add to the nuisance" already present. 

Some allege the street is plagued by drug dealing gangs, and that street drinkers frequent Duncan Terrace Gardens and the steps of St John the Evangelist church, "where they leave their empties".

"A ready supply of alcohol a few yards walk away would increase this problem," said Cllr Klute.

One opponent said there were already plenty enough places to obtain alcohol, from The York pub nearby in Islington High Street, and other licensed shops in the vicinity, which is designated as a cumulative impact zone, where no further licenses should be granted.

"Unfortunately, I personally can only see that trade being for the patrons of the public house to get more alcohol upon its closing, who themselves historically have used our entryways as public toilets, and so this license would further encourage them to those actions," they added.

A similar application by Angel Food and News was rejected two years ago, but this time around bosses have promised to implement staff training and CCTV.

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Islington Council's licensing sub-committee is set to vote on the proposal tonight. 

Applicant Gulam Tahla said: “We are aware that this type of premises falls within the special policy in relation to cumulative impact in respect of shops, giving the rebuttable presumption that such applications will be refused.

“I would ask that this application be assessed under the current climate brought about by Covid, and not to take a general opinion of ‘no more off sales’. 

“A business that is prepared to invest in the area, boost the economy, and create jobs should be looked at in isolation the policy, which was written, and adopted long before anyone could have foreseen the economic climate we are facing in the near to medium-term future.”