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Licence for Sutton Bridge store is refused by licensing panel

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Fears of criminal activity has resulted in a store's bid for an alcohol licence to be refused.

Ramesh Babu Mohan applied for a premises licence for City Stores, in Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, in November - just three weeks after previous owner Arumugam Sarankan lost his licence due to an illegal worker serving two 15‐year‐olds alcohol.

But members of South Holland District Council's panel for the committee of the licensing authority refused the application during hearing this morning due to concerns about the links between Mr Mohan and Mr Sarankan.

City Stores in Sutton Bridge
City Stores in Sutton Bridge

The decision notice states: "The Panel does not believe that there is sufficient distance between the applicant and the current Premises Licence Holder whose Premises Licence was revoked on the October 20, 2021, which is currently the subject of an appeal.

"The applicant confirmed that he has been selling alcohol from the premises since it would appear that /he took over the business in November 2021 and is doing so under the current Premises Licence and with Mr Sarankan as the Designated Premises Supervisor. A Designated Premises Supervisor has overall responsibility for the sale of alcohol and therefore the existing licence holder and DPS must therefore still be connected with the business to ensure legal compliance.

"The Panel is therefore concerned that as this nexus exists that criminal activity is likely to take place at the premises due to the history of what has occurred before, and therefore the licensing objective of the prevention of crime and disorder will not be met.

"The Panel are further concerned about the applicant’s ability to manage the premises as a number of matters have yet to be attended to since it would appear that he has taken over the business such as updating his address on his personal licence, changing his address at Companies House, amending business rates and dealing with his food registration certification.

"The Panel were also concerned that the Applicant had not identified that a late night refreshment certificate was required given the operating hours/licensing hours applied for. The application is therefore refused."

Anthony Casson, district council portfolio holder for public protection, said: “The decision taken by the Licensing Panel today is an important one to help continue to prevent crime and disorder in South Holland and to do all we can to keep our residents safe.

“The licensing objectives exist for a reason, and it is crucial that any business with a licence understands and follows them and shows that they can manage the premises effectively. Wherever we have concerns about this, we will always look to take action quickly to put things right and protect shoppers.”

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