AN Irvine shop owner has failed in his FOURTH bid to sell alcohol.

Licensing chiefs have once again turned down an application from News Buster in Ladyha Court, Girdle Toll, for a provisional premises licence.

It’s the fourth time in two years that the shop has been denied a licence due to over-provision and fears of disorder.

But shop owner Muhammad Anees claims there is overwhelming demand for a further off-licence in Girdle Toll following a significant increase in new homes around the Perceton area.

Mr Anees asked permission for an off-sales capacity of 22 square metres within the shop between 10am and 10pm.

He was previously turned down in July and November 2014 and most recently February this year asking for 4.6sqm behind the counter.

News Buster’s bids for a premises licence were previously rejected on the grounds the area was already well served by the Key Store, Premier and Spar off-licences in Girdle Toll.

Mr Anees claims, however, that many in Perceton have to walk up to 20 minutes to buy some alcohol.

He insisted that up to 400 people signed a letter expressing their desire for booze to be sold at News Buster.

But at the meeting of North Ayrshire’s Licensing Board on Monday, December 12, three nearby residents raised their fears about potential trouble affecting the neighbouring sheltered housing complex.

Objections were also raised by Irvine Community Council Chair, June Niven, and NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

Addressing the board, Mr Anees said the licence could

lead to additional jobs in his shop.

He said: “I’ve run this shop for nearly eight or nine years.

“I got 300 to 400 signatures from people wanting the off-sales in the premises.

“I am there most of the time and I would be the licence holder to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“I would make sure there would be three members of staff in the shop at all times and this could lead to four more jobs in the shop.

“I don’t think there would be any trouble caused by it.”

But Girdle Toll resident, Margaret Harkins, said: “My concern is its a sheltered housing accommodation.

“Some of them are on their own, there’s a car park just outside the shop and people do loiter there at night.

“I’m about 10 yards from the path from the shop and I don’t want undesirables walking by.

“It’s a lovely area, very nice and they don’t need it there’s three off-sales round about.”

After an adjournment, Licensing Board Vice Chair, Cllr Tom Marshall, moved to refuse the application on the grounds of over-provision, to protect public health and avoid public nuisance.

He was seconded by Cllr Robert Barr.

Dalry and West Kilbride Cllr Catherine McMillan moved to approve an application for 9sqm.

However, the rest of the board agreed to refuse the News Buster application for the fourth time in a row.