PLANS for a takeaway to extend its opening hours have been granted despite warnings from police.
Inspector Rik Klair told members of Shropshire Council’s licensing act sub committee that if given the go-ahead, a proposal to lengthen the opening hours at Wots Cookin in Willow Street, Oswestry, could aggravate existing problems with anti-social behaviour and litter.
He claimed Willow Street was already the main hotspot for disorder on Friday and Saturday nights in the town centre and asked the committee to enforce a condition that the owners Keith and Carol Morris employ door staff if there is trouble to avoid creating extra work for an already over-stretched police force.
Insp Klair said: “I believe what we’re asking is reasonable and fair.
“We’re not saying the Morris’ have to have door staff straight away, but if they start having problems I don’t want a 12-month policing problem.”
He revealed he would be taking this stance on any similar application in Oswestry in the future as part of his ambition to tighten up licensing laws.
But Wots Cookin’s owners claim they have 15 years experience of late opening shifts and have rarely experienced violence.
“We’ve had to restructure our business because of the difficult financial times and we’re worried about the financial burden of these door staff,” Mrs Morris explained.
“We have given this a lot of thought and would instead ask for a review of the situation after 12 months.”
At this point, they said, they would bring door staff in if they had struggled to maintain order themselves.
The couple also said they were committed to doing what they could to minimise litter left by their customers by picking it up themselves at the end of each shift.
The committee granted permission for the takeaway to extend its licence to 2am on Fridays, Saturdays and bank holiday Sundays on the condition they install CCTV to the front of the shop and keep the footage available for 28 days.
They were also told fire risk assessments must be in place and all litter must be cleared up at closing time.