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Dillons Alcohol License Hearing Delayed

The manager of an Earlsdon off-license has reacted with mixed emotions to the news that an application by national newsagent Dillons to sell alcohol has been adjourned for four months.

Dillons, which is based on Earlsdon Street, had its application rejected by licensing justices in March this year during a three-day hearing, but has reapplied and the case will be reheard in February 2000.

The original date set was 8 November but it was agreed that the case needed three full days to be heard, and has now been scheduled to begin on 10 February 2000.

Robert Saulitis who is manager of Alexander Wines in Providence Street is happy that the application has again been delayed but he admits he cannot see an end to the battle.

He said:

"Dillons has a 20-year-lease on the premises in Earlsdon Street and if they are unsuccessful with that in theory they can reapply ever year, so even if February sees them rejected it will not be the end."

Dillons claims that it needs an alcohol license to make the store profitable, but objectors claim there is no need for another licensed premises in the town.

Saulitis said:

"There are two main reasons for the objections. The first is that there are already 27 licenses granted in Earlsdon which includes restaurants, pubs, off-licenses and those kind of things.

"The other is that not being experienced off-license staff can cause problems with under age drinking and that is something which is clearly concerning everybody."

A spokesperson for Coventry Magistrates said that the hearing had been adjourned because the case was complex.

She said:

"This case has a lot of evidence involved and witnesses that will be called and we were asked for three days for it to be heard, and the new date is the earliest that is possible.

"It is quite a complex case with the Police amongst the objectors to the license so that is why it will take longer than normal."

Nobody from Dillons was available for comment on the matter.

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Alexander Wines, Earlsdon, Coventry

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Dillons / 14 Nov 99

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