An off-licence boss is appealing against a ban, preventing him from selling strong lagers.

The Border Store, in Western Road, Hove, is asking Brighton and Hove City Council to lift a condition of its late night alcohol licence, outlawing the sale of beers of more than five per cent by volume.

The rule was imposed to stop super-strong beers, such as Carlsberg Special Brew and Tennents Super lager, being sold to street drinkers congregating in nearby Norfolk Square. ut the ban also stretches to top-selling premium beers such as Stella Artois, which is 5.2 per cent by volume.

An appeal is due to be heard by magistrates on March 15 but shop owner Sameer Philips, 33, is in negotiations with the council to prevent the case going to court.

Councillors issued the ban when his application for a round-the-clock alcohol licence last September drew complaints from Police and the East Brunswick Residents Association.

Police spent a year ridding Norfolk Square of street drinkers, issuing antisocial behaviour orders and prosecuting street-drinkers.

A spokeswoman said: "It was the regular haunt of large groups of street drinkers who would descend on the location from all parts of the city. Residents lives and local businesses were blighted by daily occurrences of drunken antisocial and sometimes violent behaviour."

The council limited opening hours until 2am along with the strong lager ban. It did not outlaw the sale of strong ciders or alcopops.

The Border Store is the only off licence from dozens in Western Road, to have such a restriction although a Sussex Police licencing officer said it was not the only one in the city.

Earlier this month, councillors granted a 6am licence to the nearby St George's Store off licence, also in Western Road, despite similar concerns by police.

Officers asked for a ban on beers, lagers or ciders stronger than 5.9 per cent but the condition was not imposed by the council.

Mr Philips did not wish to comment. Brighton and Hove City Council said it did not comment on forthcoming court cases.