A BID to increase the capacity of an Irvine shop was given the green light – despite the work starting without permission from licensing chiefs.

Premier store boss Sayiad Hamid appeared at North Ayrshire's licensing board on Monday [February 24], asking to extend the capacity of his Paterson Avenue shop from 13.6 sq.m. to 14.05 sq.m and vary the layout.

This was after works had already started in the shop without proper permission and a visit from a council licensing officer and police over a previous employee being listed as premises manager.

Meeting papers state: "It appears that there was a period of time while the Premises were operating without an effective "Premises Manager", in breach of the Licence."

Councillors heard this was ‘pure oversight’ after Mr Hamid purchased the store in 2018.

Convenor Ronnie McNicol said: “You should have come to the board first and asked for permission. I know you’re looking at a planning application as well but this is to sell alcohol, and you should have had an experienced premises manager on the premises as well.”

Mr Hamid said: “We’ve always invested in all our stores. We opened Bourtreehill Supermarket which was in a run down area and made it better, and want to do the same for Paterson Avenue as well.

“We spoke to building control and wanted everything to be done right, but obviously I didn’t know about this part about asking licensing.

“That shop is so small, and we could have kept it the way it is but that area needs a bigger shop. Every shop we have took on we have done it not just for us but for the area as well.”

After deliberation by board members Cllr Ronnie McNicol said: “We have discussed your application Mr Hamid, some members of the board are not happy, but on this instance we agree to grant.”