Friday, 04 December 2020

New owner of newsagents wants licence to sell alcohol

THE newsagent’s shop in Sonning Common may start selling alcohol.

Visagaratnam Kunalan, who is negotiating to buy the store in Peppard Road from David Brighton, has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council, the licensing authority, for permission.

Mr Brighton wants to sell the retail side of the business but continue to run its newspaper rounds from a space at the back of the premises.

Sonning Common Parish Council has supported Mr Kunalan’s application to open from 7am to 11am Monday to Saturday and 10am to 10.3.0pm on Sundays and to sell alcohol during those hours. He is also seeking permisison to install CCTV.

Councillor Chrissie Phillips-Tilbury said: “The new owner is planning on a putting a small supermarket there and is wanting a licence. The business is going through the process of being sold. The new owner is planning on revamping it. It will be a bit like BB Wines [in Peppard Road].”

Councillor Stan Rust was concerned about the “very long” licensing hours being proposed. He said: “It’s 8am to 11pm. That’s every day except Sunday when it will be 10am to 10.30pm.”

Councillor Leigh Rawlins said: “I am concerned about the mix of merchandise to be sold but we have a mix of merchandise in places like the
Co-op and One Stop as well as others.

“The laws are very permissive and this provides competition, so unless they don’t respect their licence, I don’t think there can be any objection.”

Parish council chairman Carole Lewis said: “I question whether we need another outlet like this in the village. We have BB Wines and One Stop in Wood Lane, do we need another one?” Mr Brighton also runs Brightons Newsagents, wich delivers 50,000 newspaper and magazines in Berkshire and Oxfordshire every week. He didn’t want to comment.

Anyone wishing to object to the variations in the licence should give notice in writing to: The licensing officer, South Oxfordshire District Council, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4SB. This should be done before August 18.The application can be viewed at the district council’s office between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

l What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email

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