Nitshill shop gets alcohol licence despite safety concerns

A housing developer has secured a licence to sell alcohol from a planned convenience store in Nitshill despite “severe” safety fears.

Strathcarron Estates, which is behind housing plans in the area, is planning to open the shop at 417-423 Nitshill Road and has an “experienced tenant” lined up for the premises.

It is also planning a major refurbishment of the parade of shops where the convenience store is situated.

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Levern and District Community Council objected to the developer’s application, but the city’s Licensing Board has granted an off-sales licence.

Alastair MacLellan, the community council’s secretary, told the Licensing Board there were “severe” concerns over the safety of “mainly elderly” local residents as selling alcohol would “attract use to the area and possible disruption”.

He said there were also fears over overprovision, with three licensed shops within 500 metres, and that increased traffic, alongside already limited parking, could cause further disruption.

“We don’t agree with it,” Mr MacLellan said. “Strathcarron development is very important to the area. We just do not feel that an off-sales is suitable.”

Cllr Alex Wilson, a board member, added he was concerned about the amount of alcohol being sold “within a deprived area”.

He said: “I know the area quite well, it is an area of what I would class as having a bit of deprivation.

“I think it is well served by alcohol, you have got the Lidl which isn’t far away, you’ve got Sainsbury’s which is also not far away.”

He acknowledged there were no objections from Glasgow’s health and social care partnership and Police Scotland, but said he had concerns “about this area and adding extra alcohol to it, it doesn’t really sit well with me”.

Archie MacIver, representing Strathcarron Estates, said: “In the past, when applications have been made in areas of so-called deprivation and there has been a concern on the part of the health partnership, they have not been slow to come in with objections.

“I think it’s very significant that they are silent in this particular case.”

He said there is a “concerted attempt” at regeneration in the area, with Strathcarron Estates central to the work.

As well as refurbishing the shops, the developer is planning a 33 space car park to create “a first rate amenity for the local people”. Mr MacIver said the car park work would cost around £400,000 and the creation of the store is priced at £250,000.

He added: “As part of the refurbishment, the former Glasgow Housing Association office within the centre will be fully refurbished, and that’s to be provided at nil rental to the community for charity use, community cafe and a foodbank.”

Addressing concerns about overprovision, he said at least two of the licensed premises are a “fair hop” from the planned store.

“The surrounding area contains a lot of housing, it’s clear that you could make a case for each of the named stores serving particularly areas within the Nitshill area.”

Mr MacIver said the owners of the current parade of shops have not had difficulties with disorder and there is no “substantive evidence” that the licence will lead to disruption.

“There is no objection from Police Scotland in regard to this matter. It is an integral part of the overall redevelopment of this scheme, this would be effectively the anchor tenant in the development and it’s the last piece, and a fundamental piece, of the jigsaw.”