Protest to businessman's plans to sell alcohol from the living room of his Wolverhampton flat
A businessman’s plans to sell alcohol from the living room of his flat in an upmarket suburb of Wolverhampton have prompted an avalanche of protests from concerned neighbours and the wider community.
Munminder Gill has applied to the council for a licence to sell the booze from his home in Magnolia Court, Muchall Road, Penn, where he has registered himself as a private limited company called Enterprise MG.
His request has sparked a huge outburst from worried residents living near the flat and across the Penn ward. West Midlands Police and licensing bosses have already mediated with Mr Gill in a bid to resolve their fears. But so far, the council has received more than 20 letters of protest.
One said: “These are residential apartments and the security of the complex would be seriously compromised by an increased number of visitors. The apartments are gated and have security access systems to the external doors. There is a large elderly community here and the increased numbers of people and vehicles involved with alcohol sales will cause a public nuisance.
“The applicant has children living in the flat and must be planning to store his goods inside the private residence where the children live. Apart from the suitability of raising children in a warehouse of alcoholic beverages, there are also safety considerations around heavy boxes falling over and accidents happening whilst moving stock around.
“As an aside, under the head lease conditions, no business or trading can be carried out from any of these apartments and this building should be classed as residential only and not used for businesses.”
Another added: “We could start getting an influx of people and vehicles who could be drinking around the premises – especially during the summer – as the front part of Magnolia Court offers a nice seating space on the grass. This in turn would affect the tranquillity of the area.
“The safety of our residents is paramount as it’s very quiet here. We wish to prevent crime and disorder on Muchall Road, as people in cars will park here and could throw their litter and rubbish out in what is a high-end market area.”
Further correspondence said: “There is a nursery school, women’s hospital and a school in close proximity. It has taken the police some years to discourage young people from congregating in cars on Muchall Road. This began when two of the apartments – including the one in question – were empty and the street started to attract people who met up to smoke, drink alcohol, eat takeaways food then leave their rubbish behind.
“Very young children live in these apartments and there are schoolchildren catching their morning coach across the road. So having exposure to alcohol at a very early age would have a serious impact on them. There are more than enough empty units in non-residential streets near to Penn and in Wolverhampton where this business could be conducted from.”
In his application Mr Gill states: “The premises is my home address, as this is where I’ll be trading from. It’s a two-bedroom apartment. Activities proposed are all the company’s administration, including the placing of orders from the supplier, invoicing customers, bookkeeping and accounting. Also, stock will be stored temporarily and orders prepared for delivery.”
Mr Gill has applied for permission to sell alcohol between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday. “I may need to occasionally make deliveries outside of the normal hours at particularly busy times of the year, such as Christmas, for example,” he added.
“The premises will never be open to the public. It will be used for occasional storage and distribution and will only be accessible to the director or authorised personnel. A personal license holder will be on site at all times and stock will be stored securely and never consumed on the premises.
“All visitors will be requested to be considerate towards neighbours, with signs put up to reinforce this. No entertainment will be hosted on the premises and proof of age will be requested in line with the Challenge 25 policy.”
The council’s statutory licensing sub-committee will discuss the application next Thursday.