A supermarket's request to sell alcohol at a shop and petrol station has drawn objection from a local councillor.

Asda has asked for a licence to supply alcohol at its convenience and petrol store on Yoden Way, Peterlee between 7am and 11pm every day.

The application will be considered by Durham County Council's licensing sub-committee on Monday, September 26.

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Councillor Diane Howarth, ward member for Peterlee East, objected to the proposal.

She wrote: "We already have a very high percentage of alcohol related ASB (anti-social behaviour) and to add another convenience/garage to sell alcohol would certainly antagonise matters further.

"In the adjacent area there are two supermarkets, one late night garage and three convenience stores all open 11pm and all selling alcohol."

The Northern Echo: Cllr Diane Howarth. Picture: Durham County Council.Cllr Diane Howarth. Picture: Durham County Council.

She said booze-fuelled anti-social behaviour was a "huge problem" in the area.

She added: "Youths frequent convenience stores to hang around until late causing nuisance and intimidation to consumers using them.

"Asda has a store only metres away and ASB is a problem not only outside the store but also the car park at night."

She said speeding drivers performed "stunts all through the night" in that store's car park and a barrier had been installed in June but was "pulled off in the first week".

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"Alcohol can be readily be purchased at many retailers within very close proximity of the proposed retailer," added Cllr Howarth.

"If granted a licence it will encourage more drinking until late at night, this area has a very high level of depravation and crime is high.

"We have an obligation to see the amount of alcohol sold reduced not increasing availability in areas where there is already a problem.

"I am only too aware in my role as chair of governors and a safeguarding lead at the local primary school which has been identified as having the highest level of child depravation and high numbers of domestic violence in families where alcohol is abused which leads on to child protection cases rising.

"Having access to another late night retailer selling alcohol will only add to the problems surely.

"I fail to understand why they are wanting to sell alcohol at the petrol station also."

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The Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership made no comments or objections, and Durham Police had no objection.

Joseph Dixon, the council's principal public protection officer, raised no objection after considering the application regarding the prevention of public nuisance.

The supermarket chain says it will take steps to comply with licensing including staff training, CCTV, a till prompt system, Challenge 25 proof of age scheme and no sales of single cans or bottles.

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