A tenth small supermarket looks almost certain to open in an area of just a few square miles in Sheffield - despite dozens of objections.
Sheffield Council’s licensing board yesterday approved a bid for alcohol to be sold at the proposed Sainsbury’s store, in the former Hadfield pub on Barber Road, Crookesmoor.
And a planning application for external alterations to the building has been recommended for approval at a meeting of the council’s city centre, south and east planning board next Monday.
Individual residents and Crookesmoor Community Forum had protested against the store, citing increased traffic, noise and nuisance.
Within a one-mile radius of the store there are already Sainsbury’s branches on Bolsover Street, at the university tram stop, in Broomhill and in Crookes.
Meanwhile, there are Tesco and Eurospar branches at Broomhill, an Asda at Walkley, and Co-ops at Crookes and Crookesmoor.
Numerous other independent convenience stores also operate.
Sheffield Council planning officers said it would be impossible to prevent the Hadfield being turned into a supermarket because the change of use does not require planning permission.
The application seeks permission only for alterations to the building.
Meanwhile Coun John Robson, Sheffield Council’s licensing committee chairman, said there is no ‘saturation policy’ in force for types of stores anywhere in Sheffield.
He added that competition cannot be used as a reason to turn down an application for an alcohol licence.
The new Sainsbury’s at Crookesmoor will be open 24 hours - although alcohol sales will be restricted to between 7am and 11pm.
Coun Robson said: “The application was granted after the applicants made an offer to vary their application, which had been for a licence to sell alcohol between 6am and midnight.
“There were also variations to conditions for CCTV - and the system installed must be to the reasonable satisfaction of the police.”
Coun Robson added: “For a saturation policy controlling numbers of outlets, the council would have to demonstrate that the volume of stores was having an adverse effect on the community.
“There is no saturation policy in place and competition cannot be used to refuse applications.”
The store plans have been greeted with dismay by nearby residents.
Bernard Little, of Crookesmoor Community Forum, said: “In a culture where binge drinking is prevalent among young people, we need another outlet like this - for alcohol that is open long hours in a student area - like a hole in the head.”
Protesters were also concerned about delivery vehicles, traffic to the store, and noise.
Crookesmoor resident Lin Harrison said the area was ‘one of the few surviving real local communities’.
She added: “We have a thriving selection of local shops. We do not need yet another supermarket.”