Shop in Hornsey Rise ‘drinker hotspot’ applies for new licence

Elthorne Park, near Express Supermarket, which has been plagued by street drinkers

Elthorne Park, near Express Supermarket, which has been plagued by street drinkers - Credit: Archant

Store had been banned from selling alcohol

A shop in a regular haunt for street drinkers, which lost its licence for selling alcohol to youngsters, is asking for permission to re-open tonight (Thursday).

Express Supermarket, in Hazelville Road, Hornsey Rise, was stripped of its right to sell drink last year after being caught selling alcohol to an underage volunteer in a police and trading standards sting.

The shop was also found with more than 320 bottles of smuggled wine on the premises.

Mehmet Aslan, son of the former licence holder, wants the shop to start trading again and will ask for permission from an Islington Council licensing committee this evening.


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However, police and town hall safety representatives want to block the move due to the area’s long standing alcohol and crime problems.

Sarah Armstrong, who works in the council’s anti-social behaviour team, described Elthorne Park, near to the shop, as “a long-standing hotspot for street drinkers”.

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She said: “We have received a number of complaints ranging from concerns about shouting, swearing and bad language to other dangerous situations where drinkers have almost caused traffic incidents by wandering into the road.”

Violent

In 2011, 53-year-old homeless street-drinker Theresa Lyne was killed after she collided with a minibus outside the park.

Ms Armstrong said: “There have been a number of violent incidents and one individual was recently arrested for GBH – within the group itself there are concerns about intimidation and domestic violence.”

She added: “Some of the groups in the park are often drunk in the day [and]...continue to sit in the park causing harassment, alarm and distress.”

Ms Armstrong said she believed the drinkers were there because they could buy cheap strong alcohol nearby.

An Islington Police licensing team also said night time alcohol-related violence within 500 metres of the park accounted for almost three per cent of the borough’s total over the last year.

However, Mr Aslan’s solicitors said he should not be barred from running a business because of the actions of his father.

They also submitted a witness statement from a former policeman who surveyed the area and interviewed other shopkeepers, who said street drinking was not a problem.

One shopkeeper blamed previous problem drinking on the estimated 100 squatters who occupied the nearby former Ashmount School site in October and November.

n The former Angie’s pub, in Holloway Road, Upper Holloway, will also seek a new licence at the meeting. Police are against the application.

n A new venue – The Cally, in Caledonian Road, Holloway – will also request permission for a licence. Several residents have written to the council to object to the move.

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