Islington Tribune
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Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER
Published: 17 July 2009

From left, rear, objector David Trillo, Cllr Barry Edwards, Daya supermarket solicitor Hasan Sal, residents John Cronin, Koukla MacLehose and husband Christopher; front, Daya manager Ibrahim Killic, Cllr James Kempton and resident David Cairns
‘Booze war’ warning as new store wins licence

‘Saturation point’ claim as 27 shops in 500 yards sell drink

A NEW supermarket has been told it can sell alcohol, despite neighbours’ fears of a “booze” price war.
More than 400 people signed a petition and there were 30 letters of objection to the sale of alcohol at the soon-to-open Londis store in Westbourne Road, opposite St Mary Magdalene Academy, in Holloway.
Objectors told a licensing committee meeting at Islington town hall on Monday that there were already at least 27 other off-licences within 500 yards of the Londis store.
The objectors included former Islington Council Lib Dem leader Councillor James Kempton and Labour councillor Barry Edwards.
Residents told the committee they already had a supermarket, Daya, next door but one to Londis, which sold alcohol until 9.30pm. Londis has been given permission to sell drink until 11pm.
Cllr Kempton feared a “price war” with the supermarket next door, “resulting in the availability of more cheap booze”.
Cllr Edwards said the area had reached “off-licence saturation point”. He added: “I’m also concerned that there is a large school, St Mary Magdelene, right opposite these two outlets.”
Retired chartered accountant David Trillo, a spokesman for Ellington Street Residents’ Association, said neighbours did not want yet another shop selling alcohol. He added: “All the evidence shows that alcohol encourages noise, anti-social behaviour and criminality. Yet the licensing rules appear to encourage its consumption.”
Stewart Gibson, licensing agent for Londis, argued that there would be no alcohol price war.
“There is a standard price for off-sales provided by Londis,” he said. “If you want cheap booze you should go to one of the big superstores.”
He pointed out that the company has rigid rules to ensure alcohol is not sold to minors. “Our staff are experienced and there are CCTV cameras in place to ensure there is no anti-social behaviour,” he said.
The committee, chaired by Lib Dem councillor George Allan, supported the application, apart from Labour councillor Wally Burgess, who voted against.
Most of the committee considered there was no evidence of a possible “price war”. They pointed out that the situation could be reviewed again if it was felt alcohol sales were causing a nuisance.

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