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FEARS THAT: Off-licence is trying to run ‘dial-a-drink’ alcohol deliveries

FEARS THAT: Off-licence is trying to run ‘dial-a-drink’ alcohol deliveries

Delfan Store Off-Licence, (formally The Three Tunns Pub), Image: NCJ Media

A Swalwell store’s bid to sell booze is set to be heard by Gateshead Council on Friday amid fears that its trying to run a ‘dial-a-drink style operation’.

Asghar Pari Zafarabdi has applied for a licence to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises 7am to midnight seven days a week, from the former Three Tunns pub – now called Delfan Store.

However, Alice Wiseman, Gateshead’s director of public health, has raised fears that this could result in residents getting cheap alcohol delivered straight to their homes.

In her representation to the authority she said she  had “great concerns” about the management of this off licence and Mr Zafarabadi’s understanding licensing law.

Ms Wiseman wrote that during an authority visit to the premises Mr Zafarabadi stated that he was considering offering home alcohol deliveries despite this not being stated in the application.

She warned that if this goes ahead it could result in alcohol falling into the hands of people who are under-age or already drunk.

Ms Wiseman wrote: “Without appropriate safeguards in place within a delivery model, we run the risk of having a dial-a-drink style operation, where residents can access cheap alcohol, direct to their homes.

“From a public health perspective, if the management of a premises and delivery model is not robust, this can lead to alcohol being sold to those who are already intoxicated and those who are under age.”

The authority’s licensing team also have misgivings about the plans, with assistant trading standards manager Tracy Johnson saying in her representation that when she visited the store Mr Zafarabadi  couldn’t explain licensing rules.

She wrote: “When asked, Mr Zafarabadi could not confirm what the four licensing objectives were under the Licensing Act 2003.

“Signs were on display in relation to a challenge 21 policy when a challenge 25 policy has been proposed in the application.

“He could not explain what a challenge policy was only that alcohol
cannot be sold to an under 18.

“There were other age restricted products on sale in the shop namely butane gas and lighter fluid. He did not know the age restriction for these items.”

Gateshead Council’s licensing sub-committee will decide on the proposals on Friday.


Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter

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