The police have raised serious road safety concerns over plans to sell alcohol at a petrol station in Pool-in-Wharfedale.
West Yorkshire Police’s opposition to the Shell garage proposal, along with written objections from residents and local councillors, will be heard by Leeds City Council’s licensing department on Monday.
Shell has applied for permission to sell drink from the Pool Road outlet between 6am and 10pm, seven days a week.
But North West Outer Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Richard Coldwell fears that would increase the risk of congestion and accidents at an already-busy part of the village.
Objecting in the “strongest possible terms”, his statement says: “The premises is not suitable to be a convenience store due to its location and the fact there is no pedestrian access without crossing a very busy A road.
“To turn the main business into a convenience store and off-licence, along with the increased custom, both vehicular and pedestrian, would be detrimental to public safety and pedestrian accidents and collisions would increase as a result.”
Insp Coldwell goes on to say he shares residents’ fears that the move could also result in an increase in alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour at the playground and skateboard park opposite the garage.
In its application, however, Shell outlines a range of measures it would take to prevent problems arising. They include: l Using a ‘Challenge 25’ policy when selling alcohol, requiring proof of age to be provided l Providing staff training and running a refusals book l Using CCTV to monitor sales and provide images should any issues arise.
Villagers, however, along with Pool Parish Council, remain unconvinced.
One Park Square resident, whose concerns will be heard at the hearing, said: “This is already one of the busiest filling stations in the area and also, as we live in a society where drinking and driving is no longer acceptable, the idea of filling one’s car up and then buying alcohol at say 10pm is unnecessary.”
Others point out that alcohol can already be bought at the Post Office shop, at clubs and pubs in the village, and at several supermarkets in nearby Otley.
Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) will speak on behalf of residents at Monday’s meeting, while parish clerk Lis Moore will explain the parish council’s objections.