Plans for a new Co-Op in Welling have caused a stir with residents, who are concerned the sale of booze will lead to anti-social behaviour.

The supermarket chain is seeking a licence to open a store in Bellegrove Parade – however neighbours say the area is already blighted with anti-social behaviour.

The Co-Op wants to open from six am until 11pm every day,and sell alcohol during all hours.

The licence request tumbled into something of a “saga” according to council officers who said the supermarket had incorrectly displayed legal notices telling neighbours what it proposed.

In documents submitted to the council, lawyers representing the supermarket say that the Co-Op’s posters advertising the plans had actually been sabotaged.

It comes as dozens of residents petitioned against the plans on the grounds of preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and the prevention of public nuisance.

One resident wrote to the council saying: “If a new shop opens selling alcohol late at night, we risk attracting groups and gangs to the area. Additionally the car park will be a magnet for youths and their cars, who tend to congregate and use the surrounding roads as a race track.”

Another neighbour said: “There are already two supermarkets in the immediate vicinity and quite frankly we don not need another one.

“The amount of litter will increase and the bins are not emptied often enough as it is.”

Councillors on Bexley’s licensing panel can grant a licence, reject the plans or grant it with amendments when it is debated next week, July 16.