Anti-social behaviour fears fuel objections to new off-licence at Ossett's Seemore Shopping Centre

Concerns about anti-social behaviour have fuelled objections to the opening of a new off licence.

By David Spereall
Saturday, 14th November 2020, 7:00 am

A number of residents in Ossett are opposed to the store being allowed to sell alcohol, from Unit 1 of the town's Seemore Shopping Centre.

It's claimed the area is being beset by anti-social behaviour, and that youths could congregate in a small gated area which would have to remain open into the late evening to allow access to the shop.

The gates, which accommodate the shopping centre's arcade, are currently closed around teatime, but the shop has asked for permission to stay open until 11pm.

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The Seemore Shopping Centre in Ossett.

The application, put forward by Khalil Mustafa, will be considered by a council licensing panel on November 27.

Ossett ward councillor Lynn Masterman, who is among the objectors to the proposal, said: "The alleyway is quite a dimly lit area and I am concerned that kids will gather down there if the gates are open," she said.

"There's been a lot of anti-social behaviour around the bus station, which is round the back of the shops.

"We've also got 12 retail outlets in Ossett that sell alcohol already. I don't think the need is there for another one."

Robert Benson, who runs a neighbouring bike shop, also objected to the plans, telling the council that his and other local businesses would be at risk of vandalism if the application was granted.

He wrote: "The arcade/shopping centre has had numerous problems with disorder over the years.

"This has been both during the day and on an evening with the community support officers and sometimes the police having to be called out to deal with the problem.

"The problems use to happen mostly from 4pm onwards until gating was introduced to the arcade."

West Yorkshire Police's licensing department has said it is content with Mr Mustafa's application, though it's asked for the shop to close at 10pm, instead of 11pm and to abide by a number of conditions.

Local Democracy Reporting Service