For every 84 households in Brighton and Hove there is a bar or off-licence to ply them with alcohol.

In all there are 1,362 places in the city allowed to sell alcohol ranging from supermarkets to nightclubs - equivallent to one for every 150 adults.

Alchohol campaigners and health bosses have claimed easy access to intoxicating drinks is a ticking time-bomb for the city.

Brighton and Hove director of public health Dr Tom Scanlon yesterday said about 25% of the city’s 205,688 adults are drinking hazardous levels.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 36 men and women out of every 100,000 Brighton and Hove residents die alcohol related deaths.

Home Office figures released in December showed that child alcohol abuse in the city was on the rise and alcohol-related admissions to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, more than doubled between 2003/4 and 2007/8.

On average there is an off licence or bar for every 84 of Brighton and Hove's 114,476 households.

The ratio is greatly increased in the city centre, but it is the outlying areas that are now causing concern with licensing officials, who are virtually powerless to prevent new off-licences, pubs and clubs from springing up outside Cumulative Impact Area (CIA).

Brighton and Hove’s CIA, a zone designated as having enough pubs, clubs and off-licences, stretches from Preston Street to Upper Rock Gardens, and from the beach to Western Road, Church Street and Edward Street.

But further afield councillors can only refuse permission for new licenses if there is proof that granting a licence will increase crime, create a public nuisance, risk public safety or put children at harm.

Many streets just outside the area’s boundaries, like London Road and Western Road are packed with drink stockists.

In the stretch of Lewes Road between The Level and the Vogue Gyratory there are three off-licences, four pubs, six convenience stores and two supermarkets all licensed to sell drink.

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