One of Stoke-on-Trent’s best-known newsagents has applied for permission to sell alcohol – as the shop remains closed for ‘refurbishment’.
Newspapers are still stuck to the windows of Boden’s Newsagents, in Stafford Street, Hanley, which has been closed for at least the past two months.
A notice in the window states: “Sorry. Under refurbishment. Opening soon.”
It sits alongside the premises licence application which has been lodged with Stoke-on-Trent City Council. It requests permission to sell alcohol from 6am to 10pm seven days a week.
Traders and shoppers have had the chance to have their say on the application which has been lodged by GMT Ventures.
It has received a mixed response from shoppers with some accepting that the business needs to diversify during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kim Bird, aged 38, of Cobridge, said: “They have got to do what they have to do to survive.”
And David Pickerill, aged 46, of Newcastle, added: “I think they should be allowed to sell alcohol. I do not see much of a problem unless we see lots of drunken people about.
“I think shops should be able to do what they have to but I can see why some people would have a problem with it.
“I have always had a soft spot for Boden’s Newsagents. It has been really handy over the years.”
But other shoppers fear another city centre off-licence could lead to even more anti-social behaviour.
Helen Broadhurst, aged 54, said: “There are too many places in the city centre selling alcohol. There are enough people around here sleeping rough. I just think it will cause more anti-social behaviour.”
No-one from Boden’s Newsagents has been available for comment due to the closure.
The council’s licensing committee may be called on to rule on the application if any objections have been received.