Proposed new Co-op at Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay seeking alcohol licence

A supermarket chain’s bid to secure an alcohol licence for a new Pevensey Bay store is set to go in front of Wealden councillors next week.
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On Thursday (April 20), a Wealden District Council licensing panel is set to consider an application for an alcohol sales licence at a Co-Op store in Eastbourne Road — premises which had been the bar and restaurant of the Bay Hotel.

The store was granted planning permission following an appeal hearing last summer, which resulted in a government inspector overturning Wealden District Council’s initial refusal of the conversion.

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Despite the controversy surrounding the planning application, no objections have been raised by local residents to the licensing application.

Bay Hotel where new Co-op is plannedBay Hotel where new Co-op is planned
Bay Hotel where new Co-op is planned

As a result, the hearing is only being held due to an objection lodged by Sussex Police.

Sussex Police are not opposed to a premises licence of any kind, but are in disagreement with Co-Op about the conditions being offered. The disagreement is largely around wording and extent, as most of what the police have requested is being offered by Co-Op.

Similar objections have been raised over another application from Co-Op for a store in Uckfield. That application is set to be considered at the same meeting.

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Co-Op, for its part, argues the conditions it has offered are proportionate and cover all the ground asked of by Sussex Police. Moreover, the supermarket argues some of the conditions requested by police are overly specific.

For example, Sussex Police want Co-Op to install a ‘digital’ CCTV system, which the supermarket says is an unnecessarily specific wording, which could prevent upgrading to a better technology in the future.

Similarly, the conditions preferred by Sussex Police call for a logbook of incidents to be ‘kept on site’, something Co-Op says does not reflect its practice of using a computerised central log.

The biggest point of contention, however, surrounds deliveries.Sussex Police have called for a condition which would require deliveries to the store (and waste collection) to be “carried out at such a time or in such a manner as to prevent nuisance and disturbance”. Co-Op argues this is an inappropriate licensing condition, as it concerns unlicensed activities.

Ultimately, the final conditions will fall to councillors to decide. If unhappy with the decision, Co-Op would have the right to a legal appeal.