Make your views known on sale of alcohol

I urge any concerned reader in the vicinity of Primrose Hill/England s Lane who agrees that we don t need a late night off-licence across from a church school, to make a representation now. An application has been submitted to Camden Council regarding per

I urge any concerned reader in the vicinity of Primrose Hill/England's Lane who agrees that we don't need a late night off-licence across from a church school, to make a representation now.

An application has been submitted to Camden Council regarding permission to sell alcohol at 34 Primrose Hill Road. The premises at present is a much-loved newsagent, Country Life. Local residents from young to old use the shop to buy newspaper and magazines and light groceries such as milk, toys and sweets as well as lottery tickets.

The present owner knows my five-year-old son by name, and there is much joy whenever neighbourhood children enter the shop. I have noticed the elderly are always treated with personal courtesy and the owner has even been known to assist elderly or disabled people to negotiate stairs or post letters a block away.

No greater contrast could be potentially realised with the introduction of the permitted sale of alcohol from 8am to midnight seven days a week. I will list the objections to such a scheme:

1. The proposed shop is diagonally opposite St Mary's Parish Church and the adjoining renowned primary school, St Paul's Church of England Primary School, Elsworthy Road.

2. The nature of trading is not in keeping with the family-oriented population of the vicinity. Residents enjoy a peaceful active lifestyle with Primrose Hill Park adjoining the primary school, relative quiet at dusk and the confidence that they can follow well-lit paths into the park late into the evening for dog walks. This is clearly not a commercial district or a high street. Residents have a multitude of busier designated sensible shopping areas on Regent's Park Road and England's Lane. Any arguments of convenience are logically outweighed by the obvious nuisance that comes with the easily accessible sale of alcohol and an associated increase in crime and vagrancy.

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3. The proposed hours of the shop are not in keeping with the residential aspect of the vicinity. Similar late hours premises in Chalk Farm and near the Tube have attracted vagrancy, panhandling, a congregation of drug users and people with alcohol dependency.

4. As a resident of the last few houses on King Henry's Road, I personally have witnessed a kidnapping, a gang beating, sounds of guns, drug arrests, car jacking and attempted burglary of all of the 10 terraced houses, as well theft of my neighbour's car keys and her new BMW. Nearby residents have had to take the extra step of paying for a private security firm. Crime is on the increase and local police have made a much more visible point of patrolling the park and the vicinity. Sirens and helicopters are not unusual.

5. The streets in question are used by children going and leaving school. The environmental impact from attracting alcohol buyers will not only scare children and have a negative influence but will inevitably increase public urination and vomit. Consumption of alcohol in the park is directly linked to crime and the proximity of the shop to the park will only feed into this problem.

6. If you think this shop is harmless, just ask anyone on England's Lane how Tesco has in any way improved the street?

To make a representation online, please visit www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/portal/ and follow the prompts. Application APP\000843.

Primrose Hill resident

(name and address supplied)

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