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Council refuses licence application for Polish supermarket to sell alcohol for the third time in five years

Ealing Council has refused a licence application for a Polish supermarket to sell alcohol in the Hanger Lane area for the third time in five years after concerns over anti-social behaviour and violent conduct by street drinkers in the area.

The application to allow Polski Supermarket, on 8-9 Abbey Parade, in Ealing, to sell alcohol was determined to ‘risk adding problems’ to an area that has already seen numerous cases of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) in the past few months by ‘drunk males’.

The sub-licencing panel led by Cllr Amarjit Jammu said in its decision that they also believed the applicant Mannas Sultani was too inexperienced for such a ‘tough area’. In her opening remarks Ms Sultani, who is the daughter of the previous licence holder Ahmad Sultani, admitted she had limited experience in managing a shop but attempted to assure the panel that she would take every step to learn.

However, PC Vickie Hewison who made a representation at the hearing said she did not believe that Ms Sultani would be up to the task. She confirmed recent attacks on people around subway areas near the premises have caused concern about shops supplying alcohol in the area.

Council officer Bob Dear added the area around Hanger Lane has seven off-licences where groups of males ‘street drinking’ congregate, making it an intimidating place for women and vulnerable people. Another point of contention was Ms Sultani’s relationship with her father, the previous licence holder.

In his report to the council, Mr Dear wrote: “In January 2019, Robert Dear, a Licensing Enforcement Officer for the London Borough of Ealing, submitted an application to review the premises licence. This was following two licensing visits he had conducted at the premises, which resulted in illicit tobacco and non – duty paid alcohol being seized and there were also immigration offences.

“At the review hearing, the premises licence was revoked. Ahmad Sultani was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court for fraud – the selling of cigarettes without having paid the UK duty.”

In the hearing, Ms Sultani admitted that her dad had made mistakes in the past but that she was “independent” and wanted to “draw a line” under previous issues, adding that her dad would have a limited role in the business due to health issues. However, she also said due to her lack of experience she would take advice from her dad, who is also the premise’s leaseholder, on certain matters.

Mr Dear responded that in the seven years he had had dealings with Mr Sultani he had concluded that “unfortunately he isn’t a person to gain experience from,” citing his criminal past. Mr Dear told the panel the application was “just a way of circumventing the law.”

“Mr Sultani will be pulling the strings,” he continued. Mr Sultani’s connection to previous applications in 2021 and 2023 had been a reason for their refusal in the past, he added.

In the end, the panel concluded not to grant the licence making it the third refusal of the premise’s application since it was first revoked in 2019.

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