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Residents worried about anti-social behaviour lose fight to stop new shop/off-licence

A BUSINESSMAN said he is keen to work with worried residents after being granted an alcohol licence for a new shop in Swansea.

Elangainathan Thamilselvan’s new premises, Bonymaen Local, in Llanerch Road, Bonymaen, will sell alcohol from 7am to 10pm seven days a week when it opens in around two months’ time.

Two petitions opposing the licence application had 291 signatories, although some of names were illegible and many of the comments cited a lack of interest in a new shop opening.

Objection letters were also sent to Swansea Council’s licensing department  by Bonymaen councillor Mandy Evans, among others.

A letter from one local resident, who had hoped to attend the licensing sub-committee meeting, was read out.

It said she had suffered from anti-social behaviour and that “with every new generation it gets worse”.

The letter said: “Over the years I have had damage to my property and the emotional distress and anxiety it has caused me is insurmountable.

“I have witnessed many times cars pulling up outside and youths being dropped off by their parents – obviously they come from other areas – then the parents collect them around 11pm to 12am, which is ridiculous.”

It said the situation was mostly under control now due to the efforts of police, but feared that opening a shop selling alcohol would cause problems to return.

The premises in question was a hair and beauty salon and before that Bonymaen Stores, which sold alcohol.

There is another shop around 100 metres away which has a premises licence.

Bonymaen’s other ward member, Councillor Paul Lloyd, spoke at the meeting on behalf of concerned residents.

He said he was surprised that none of the responsible authorities, such as South Wales Police, had responded to Mr Thamilselvan’s licence application.

Cllr Lloyd said police had attended anti-social behaviour incidents in the vicinity, including one serious one with “the full works – squad cars and black marias”.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Thamilselvan, Suresh Kanapathi said the applicant ran a shop with a premises licence in Pontypridd, and had developed a good relationship with the community there.

“The local people are really happy,” he said.

Mr Kanapathi also said many of the objections to the Bonymaen application did not seem to refer to licensing priorities.

“They don’t want to reopen the shop, as opposed to alcohol and related issues,” he said.

But he said he was sorry to hear about the anti-social behaviour cited by the resident whose letter was read out.

And Mr Kanapathi offered to reduce the planned licensing and opening hours from 6am to 11pm to 7am to 10pm.

In addition, anyone looking under 25 must provide identification if they try to buy alcohol, CCTV must operate in the shop and the area immediately outside, signs will be put up requesting that customers respect the needs of local residents, litter bins must be provided, and employees at the shop will have to keep the outside pavement and kerb area clean.

Mr Thamilselvan will continue to live above his Pontypridd shop, while his buisness partner will live above the Bonymaen Local.

Asked about his relationship with people living near the Pontypridd shop, Mr Thamilselvan replied: “Totally nice.”

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