A NEWSAGENT has been refused a licence to sell alcohol after neighbours protested.

Martin’s newsagents, in Richardson Road, Hove, had its request to Brighton and Hove City Council for a liquor licence turned down at a meeting yesterday.

It hoped to sell wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks between 8am and 11pm.

A petition of more than 400 signatures was submitted to the council opposing the move, with residents arguing it would have a negative impact on the area.

After Sussex Police also raised concerns, the hours were revised to 8am until 8pm, but locals remained opposed.

Michelle Sawyer, a resident and local business owner in the area, said: “There are two off-licences already on this tiny road – why do we need another one?”

She also expressed concerns about the effect the licence would have on crime rates in the area.

She said: “We do not need to be adding to this, it’s ridiculous.”

Neighbour Sue Beatty said: “We already have worries about local and national increases in irresponsible drinking by young people, and this licence would have added to that.”

Ward councillor Graham Cox presented the petition to the panel at the licensing meeting on Friday.

He referred to the area as a “crowning jewel of Brighton and Hove”.

Following the licensing deci- sion, he said: “I am grateful that the application was refused, so that the unique characteristics of Richardson Road and the balance of its thriving community can be preserved.”

Councillor Dee Simson, a member of the licensing committee, said: “We have been told that this is a residential area, and we are not satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to accept this application.”

Martin’s was not available for comment, but has the opportunity to appeal the decision within the next 21 days.