Supermarket plan set for green light

SAINSBURY’S looks set for permission to open another of its neighbourhood stores in Sheffield, despite protests.

It overcame objections this week to be granted an alcohol licence for premises due to be converted from the Hadfield Hotel in Barber Road, Crookesmoor.

The next hurdle is planning permission for external alterations to the building - and council officers believe there are no grounds for resisting the application. Councillors will give their verdict on Monday. The prospect of a Sainsbury’s taking over the premises led to nearby residents complaining about the impact on traffic and existing traders in the area and warning of late night noise and other anti-social behaviour.

Critics are also concerned about suburbs being saturated with the neighbourhood stores of the supermarket giants.

Coun John Robson, who chairs the city’s licensing committee, said there was no ‘saturation policy’ in force, and competition could not be used as a reason to turn down an application for an alcohol licence.

The new Sainsbury’s would be open 24 hours a day, although alcohol sales would be restricted to between 7am and 11pm.

Coun Robson said: “The application was granted after the applicants made an offer to very 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.”

Bernard Little, of Crookesmoor Community Forum, said: “In a culture where binge drinking is prevalent, we need another outlet like this for alcohol that is open long hours in a student area like a hole in the head.”

Brian Webster, of Broomhill Green Party, said: “This decision was predictable as the licensing committee had no grounds to refuse. The reduction in requested licensing hours to 7am to 11pm is welcome, but only a small crumb offered by Sainsbury’s.

“Lots of people are concerned about the likely impact of the new store on traffic, parking and local shops. But a loophole in the planning system, which Sainsbury’s are exploiting, means concerns about this change of use won’t be considered by the council’s planning committee.”