Alcohol licenses granted for two new shops in Buckhurst Hill and Loughton despite objections

Two shops selling high-end wines and spirits have been granted permission to sell alcohol until late, despite residents’ concerns over potential noise and antisocial behaviour.

Yung and Kush, a new boutique off licence in Buckhurst Hill, has been granted a premises licence while New Breed Bottle Shop, a Loughton store which does wine and craft beer tasting, had its hours extended to midnight at weekends by Epping Forest District Council.

Representatives for the two premises had made applications to the council and appeared before the Licensing Sub-Committee at a meeting on Monday May 16.

Nearby residents and Loughton Town Council made representations against the proposals, fearing later opening hours could result in antisocial and drunken behaviour in their neighbourhoods.

But the committee felt approval of the new permissions was not likely to promote crime and disorder or cause a public nuisance.

Yung and Kush

Yung and Kush was granted a licence for the consumption of alcohol off the premises, from Monday-Sunday between 9am-11pm.

A new start-up, the off licence aims to be a small, specialist supplier of spirits and the applicants have nine years experience in retail.

They were formerly based in Wickford, according to statements made at the meeting.

Speaking on their behalf, licensing agent Nick Semper said modern CCTV would be installed and the shop would keep an incidents and refusals log.

He said: “It’s really quite simple, this shop was once a dilapidated, now refurbished unit. This is a start-up and will be the first in the line of similar such outlets, of which there will be four or five.

With regard to objections submitted by residents, he said: “What stands out most about these representations is the pure speculation, that a rise in crime, antisocial behaviour, noise and parking issues could occur, were you to grant this application this morning.”

According to a council report, two residents who live in Queens Road near the shop objected to the application, fearing noise caused by possible late night drinking.

A section of one read: “I object strongly as we, as a residential area, have enough trouble with illegal parking, noise from the restaurant opposite and late night drinking in the street.

“This could be exacerbated by another drinking place in the same vicinity, selling alcohol and open until 11pm every night.”

Another read: “The business they are proposing would hardly even need to stay open until 9pm let alone 10pm. We have a high-end wine shop on Queens Road and they close at 7.30pm.

“£40 is hardly a huge amount to spend when talking about quality spirits so how is their target market any different from those shopping in Waitrose who also have a large selection of spirits within the same bracket.”

The applicants offered to reduce the proposed closing hours to 10pm Monday-Sunday, but reverted to an 11pm closing time after the residents decided not to withdraw their objections.

Statutory consultees such as Essex Police did not object to the application.

New Breed Bottle Shop

New Breed Bottle Shop sells craft beers and upmarket wines and spirits, and also offers wine and beer tasting evenings.

The shop was granted a variation of its existing licence, extending its opening house to 12pm-10pm Monday to Wednesday, 12pm-12am Thursday-Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays.

Tables and chairs seating eight people outside the shop will have to be cleared away by 9pm Monday-Saturday and 6pm on Sundays as a condition of the new licence.

Sub-committee chair Councillor Mary Sartin (Con, Roydon) said this was for the “prevention of public nuisance”.

Director at New Breed Bottle Shop Michael O’Kane told the committee they wanted to extend the licence because they were having to turn away business, with many potential customers wanting tasting sessions in the late evenings.

He said: “Unfortunately, although we’ve got a really successful business that has had a really positive impact on the local community, we probably won’t be able to survive if we keep turning that business away.”

But Loughton Town Council had objected to the application on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder and prevention of public nuisance.

A neighbour of the shop also objected, saying he was particularly worried about the tables and chairs outside the shop, which he claimed could encourage noise late at night.

A section read: “I would be concerned that this would lead to a gathering of people outside of the shop late at night which would constitute a public nuisance and also may lead to crime and disorder in the area immediately outside of my flat late into the night.”

Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter