TESCO has been granted a 24-hour licence to sell alcohol despite a petition of 1,400 signatures opposing the application.

The licence is for the new 8,000sq m store set to open in Earls Way, Orpington, on May 18.

Police raised concerns as to why the supermarket wanted a licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, despite the store not being open all the time.

Seventeen letters of objection from residents, as well as the petition, were also considered by Bromley Council’s licensing sub-committee on Friday (April 17).

Objecting on behalf of Bromley police, licensing officer PC Andy Waddington said: “The area within which this store operates is troubled by youth disorder, much of that is alcohol related.

“There is already a pattern of youths migrating to other stores in the area in an attempt, often successful, to obtain alcohol.”

Letters expressed concern with potential alcohol-related anti-social behaviour resulting from the licence being granted.

Objector Derek Foxen, of Knoll Rise, Orpington, said: “What possible case can Tesco put forward for selling alcohol out of hours other than a pure commercial money making one.

“When is the pendulum going to swing in favour of those wishing to live in an area of peace rather than commercialism?”

A Tesco spokesman said: “'We applied for an alcohol licence that is in line with the opening hours for the store.

“We believe it is important that our customers are able to carry out their shopping conveniently.

“As a retailer, we take our responsibility towards the sale of alcohol very seriously and will be operating a Think 25 policy in our Orpington store.”

The supermarket will be open from Monday 8am to Saturday 10pm and on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

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