A VILLAGE shop has been granted a licence to sell alcohol when it opens next year,

The Co-operative Group had applied for a premises for the new store in Murton, on the former Victoria Club site, which is due to open next autumn.

The Co-op is relocating from Woods Terrace to Church Street.

Alcohol hours included 6am-11pm, seven days a week, at the new premises.

During consultation, a single objection was lodged from a neighbour raising fears about the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance.

At a Durham County Council licensing committee meeting, councillors were told Co-op had worked with Durham Police to introduce a raft of conditions to keep customers and the community safe.

This included CCTV recordings being stored for a minimum of 28 days and being made available to the police or council on request.

Richard Arnot, of Ward Hadaway law firm, representing the Co-operative Group, said there were several measures in place around the sale of age-restricted products.

This includes ‘Challenge 25’ and a robust training programme, with new staff only allowed to sell alcohol following approval from managers.

Licensing hours will be linked to the shop’s opening hours, with the new purpose-built site providing more space for deliveries.

The store will also have tills that prompt age checks and around 30 cameras.

Mr Arnot told the meeting alcohol sales typically represent about 15 per cent in turnover.

He added the Co-op, which will be one of three retail units on the site, is a very “risk averse” organisation and assured councillors the store would be well managed.

“This is not a dedicated off licence in the ‘booze buster’ sense, we’re not like that, it’s what you would expect from a convenience store these days,” he said.

Following private discussions, the council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee approved the alcohol licence.

Sub-committee chair, Coun Linda Marshall, added: “After giving it some consideration, I don’t see any reason not to grant the licence as applied for.”

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with more than 2,000 stores.