A proposed supermarket was granted an alcohol licence but saw its sales hours reduced due to fears over street drinking.

Brent Council approved permission for Lidl to sell alcohol at a planned site in Ealing Road, Alperton.

However, it ruled that selling from 7am could lead to increased street drinking, littering, and anti-social behaviour in the area and proposed a later start time of 9am.

This, its licensing committee explained, would deter potential street drinkers who had been out all night or coming off a late-night shift.

The committee added that security guards should operate at the shop to act as a further deterrent.

It came after representatives from the Metropolitan Police and the council’s licensing teams expressed concerns about further alcohol sales in a new ‘cumulative impact zone’.

Police licensing officers said: “Those living in the local area know there are problems with street drinkers.

“Adding to this with a large supermarket would probably lead to further issues.”

Police were supported by the council’s licensing officers, who noted “several problems” within a one-minute walk of the site, including an area that suffered from a “sea of cans” being dumped behind a wall.

Representatives for Lidl pointed out that it was “not in their interest” to have street drinkers nearby and that they would work actively to discourage this.

They added that the introduction of a new supermarket would boost the local economy – including one in a post-Covid-19 landscape – and would act as a disincentive against anti-social behaviour.

And they pointed to their experience in operating in similar areas – such as Mitcham and Shepherd’s Bush – and the extensive training measures in place to support the community in a positive manner.

The committee agreed with these points and noted that, in the main, street drinkers would not automatically be attracted to Lidl.

It therefore agreed to include permission to sell ‘artisan’ beers, which might be above the standard 6.5 per cent threshold, since they are often more expensive, less well known, and unattractive to street drinkers.

However, it suggested implementing measures that delayed the start time for alcohol sales would support the borough’s licensing objectives.