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Harrow road shop denies allegations it’s been ‘selling alcohol to regular customers’ without a licence

A Wembley shop looking to sell booze has denied allegations it’s ‘already been selling alcohol’ to regular customers.

The shop, which sits within a controlled zone, has applied for an alcohol licence, which has been met with anger from some locals who fear it will encourage ‘groups of drinkers’ to hang around the streets and fuel antisocial behaviour.

The Nisa local on Harrow Road in Wembley has applied for a licence to sell alcohol and remain open from 6am to midnight between Monday and Friday, and until 1am from Thursday to Sunday. The shop falls within one of the borough’s Cumulative Impact Zones (CIZ) – areas where licences are strictly controlled to limit any problems – which presumes a licence that increases the sale of alcohol will be refused.

The application has been met with fierce opposition from some local residents who have accused the shop of already selling alcohol before the licence has been approved, which has helped fuel issues with street drinking and littering.

Harrow road shop denies allegations it's been 'selling alcohol to regular customers' without a licence Harrow Online
Nisa, Harrow Road. The Nisa on Harrow Road has been accused of \’selling alcohol to regulars\’ without a licence. Image Credit: Brent Council. Permission to use with all LDRS partners

In an objection submitted against the application, one resident said the shop, which used to be a Budgens before becoming a Nisa Local, ‘has been a problem for many years’. They complained about having issues with people drinking in the street and then throwing the empty bottles and cans over their fence for more than ten years.

They said: “Nothing has changed. The problem continues to this day. The only time it died down was in the period between closure of Budgens and its reopening as Nisa. Over the same period it has been increasingly commonplace for small groups of drinkers to gather behind the shop premises both in the car park area and on the road in The Boltons.”

Another stated: “This shop is selling alcohol to regular customers currently whilst they have a licence application pending, i.e. when they are not licensed to serve alcohol. There are lots of alcohol tins left discarded on the pavement and the neighbouring streets […]. This [then] encourages further flytipping.”

This allegation has been denied by the applicant, Minesh, who responded: “We assure you we [have] never sold any alcohol since [becoming a Nisa], also no alcohol has been consumed on site at all and we have CCTV to back this up. We understand the importance of this and all our staff have been instructed accordingly […]. Also, we never promote street drinking as this is a […] family convenience store.”

The plan has also been opposed by the local councillor, Cllr Teo Benea, who said the area is ‘already dealing with a lot of anti-social behaviour’ late at night and feels that approving the licence will ‘cause more trouble in the area’.

A number of comments were left in support of the application. One said: “I have moved here recently and there’s no big convenience store around where we can do our weekly shopping so I would like to strongly support this application.” Another noted that they ‘need to purchase alcohol every day’ and that Nisa is the closest shop.

The application will be heard by Brent Council’s Alcohol and Licensing Sub-Committee later this month (April 25) when a decision on whether to grant the licence will be made.

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