A Blackpool take-away owner has lost his bid to extend his opening hours after police warned the eaterie could be a flash point for late night trouble in the town centre.
Emad Abuaassi had applied to Blackpool Council for permission to serve food at Sugar and Spice on Queen Street until 3am on weekdays and 4am at the weekend.
He said the business, which has taken over the site previously occupied by Nunzio’s Italian restaurant which has relocated, was currently struggling financially because its current licence meant it had to close at 1am while rival take-aways opened longer.
But a licensing panel rejected his application to vary the licence after hearing it would add to crime and disorder on the street.
Figures presented to the meeting by the police showed there had been 1,172 police calls to Queen Street between January 2019 and January 2020, of which 188 were reports of assaults.
Sergeant Helen Parkinson, licensing officer for Blackpool police, said: “A take-away massively increases the risk of crime and disorder in an area which police already consider to be the most problematic in the early hours.”
She said it would create a “flashpoint” for anti-social behaviour due to encouraging drunk people to hang around in the area.
Licensing consultant Mark Marshall, who represented Mr Abuaassi at the hearing, said many businesses had moved out of Queen Street with late-night trade now the main source of revenue for remaining operators.,
He said a doorman would be employed at weekends and the take-away would still close before the main pubs emptied out.
Mr Marshall said: “The premises was previously a restaurant which has relocated round the corner.
“A tenant has been found and he has found himself in an environment with others doing the same as hime but able to open later.”
The council has a saturation policy which allows it to control the number of take-aways allowed to trade in the area. Applicants must prove exceptional circumstances to be granted a licence.
But committee chairman Coun Adrian Hutton said the panel had decided to reject the application which did not demonstrate it would not add to levels of anti-social behaviour.
The applicant has 21 days in which to appeal the decision.