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Marks and Spencer takes Islington Council to court because it wants to sell alcohol from 8am not 9am

PUBLISHED: 11:08 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:32 30 April 2019

A view of Hill House from Junction Road. Picture: Google Maps

A view of Hill House from Junction Road. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Marks and Spencer has taken Islington Council to court for deciding it could not sell alcohol before 9am at its new Archway store.

The store has appealed the licensing decision made in December by councillors, who said 8am was too early to sell booze due to the issues in the area of street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

M&S will present its case at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court today, arguing that the decision to grant the premise licence from 9am “was wrong”.

The appeal also states: “The decision was unjust and disproportionate having regard to evidence placed before it in particular, but not exclusively, the assessment of the impact the applicant selling alcohol at 8am would have on children.”

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Lawyers for the chain will also say “inappropriate factors” were taken into consideration, but “appropriate factors” were not, and that councillors did not give “adequate reasons” for imposing a 9am start time for selling alcohol.

When responding to concerns raised by police and Islington licensing officers before the licence was granted, M&S said the store would “not stock products that would attract the type of people who are alcohol dependent”.

Pc Petros Loizou from Islington police's licensing unit said: “The rationale put forward was that they found very little evidence to suggest selling alcohol one hour earlier would have a negative impact.

“The location in question is a busy area with an ongoing issue with street drinking and associated crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Within the area located is the Whittington Hospital and Highgate Hill Mental health hospital. Considerations should be given to adults who suffer from alcoholism who attend treatment centres nearby. The framework hours have been implemented to attempt to combat alcohol related issues by limiting the availability of it.

“It is simply not enough to suggest selling alcohol at high premium would deter the type of people that are alcohol dependant.”

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