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Off-licence objectors tell Islington Council: ‘Archway has a booze problem’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 December 2016 | UPDATED: 07:51 30 December 2016

One objector said alcohol abuse 'has become worse' in the area around Archway station. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 2.0

One objector said alcohol abuse 'has become worse' in the area around Archway station. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Archant

Drunks vomiting in broad daylight, urinating in “very public places” and sleeping off hangovers in the library.

This was the grim picture of Archway painted in town hall licensing papers, as 10 people pleaded with Islington Council not to grant an alcohol licence to Jimmy’s convenience store in Junction Road.

Imtiaz Ahmed has applied to sell booze from 8am to 11pm after the previous owners left the premises and surrendered its licence.

Though the previous licence was for 24 hours, people are still unhappy about the new plans for 13 hours.

The application will be heard by the licensing sub committee in the town hall on Thursday and one objector, who wasn’t named in the papers, said: “I have the impression that Archway, and particularly the area around the Tube station, has become worse regarding alcohol and drug abuse.

“There and along Junction Road I have witnessed so much anti-social behaviour due to alcohol: urinating in very public places, drunken people vomiting in broad daylight, drunks shouting at people.

“I have even seen drunks sleeping it off in our local library, hunched over a table, reeking of alcohol.”

Another said: “After years of granting the majority of local shops an alcohol licence, Archway has now been designated an alcohol saturation zone. We need an actual reduction of premises selling alcohol, and especially these Mini Mart-style stores that do not add anything new to the local retail offering.

“The types of stores flourishing and improving the area, providing what local residents want, do not sell alcohol: deli, cafes, fish shop, green grocer, international supermarket...they reduce public nuisance as the area attracts different people and creates a different vibe.

“Living in the middle of the town centre for 18 years, we have first-hand experience of the type of social unrest, fights, mess and violence that people buying and drinking alcohol on the streets causes. Surely it’s better to encourage a different type of store.”

But Mr Ahmed promised: “CCTV shall be installed, operated and maintained in agreement with the police. The system will enable frontal identification of any person entering the premises.

“The sale of intoxicating liquor will not be made to persons where there are grounds to believe that the sale will result in crime and disorder.”

Are there too many shops selling alcohol? Or is Archway fine as it is? Email our opinion section on gazette.letters@archant.co.uk


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