Councillors agree to grant licence to new mini-supermarket despite concerns of Trading Standards official

Sklep Grosik, in High Street, Huntingdon,

Sklep Grosik, in High Street, Huntingdon, - Credit: Archant

A business owner who has had one of his shops searched by Trading Standards officials on three occasions has been given a premises licenses for a new mini supermarket by Huntingdonshire District Council.

The district council’s licensing sub-committee decided last Thursday (November 5) that Zyran Sharyf, the licence holder of Grosik Sklep, in High Street, Huntingdon, will be able to sell alcohol from the new premises.

Mr Sharyf said: “It has been awful, it has been totally embarrassing but as the licence has been granted we will be able to open next week.”

The licence application was bought before the committee after Mr Sharyf’s store in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was “searched three times by officers in February 2011, September 2012 and October 2014”, said Trading Standards officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, Andrew Fayers.

Responding to the raids that took place at the Banbury store, Mr Sharyf added: “I was out of the country at the time and knew nothing about it.”

According to Mr Fayers, the searches found that the Banbury shop “previously concealed and sold illicit tobacco.

“I don’t believe anyone involved in selling illicit tobacco should be given a licensing application,” added Mr Fayers.

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Concerns were also raised about the hours proposed by Mr Sharyf that the shop would sell alcohol (6am-11pm) and the impact that it would have on town centre drinking.

Conservative Councillor Ryan Fuller said: “My issues are with the early morning start of selling the alcohol. Would you accept rather than opening hours a late alcohol selling time?”

Mr Sharyf’s licensing agent Paul Byatt agreed with Cllr Fuller to reduce the hours if it was necessary and said: “This is just following a business model that has been successful.”

The licensing sub-committee granted Mr Sharyf the licence but added conditions that CCTV was to be implemented throughout the store and outside and would be available to any licensing official if requested, and an ultraviolet light was to be used to scan the British duty seal on alcohol.

It was also ruled that no staff would be able to buy goods from visiting sales people and all purchasing orders had to be kept.

Councillor Fuller added: “The applicant’s license will be granted with conditions, you (Mr Sharyf) will accept the objectives that weren’t fully satisfied previously.”