You probably read in last weeks local press that the new owners of the service station at the Brookwood Crossroads (Total garage) had sought a variation to their licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days per week and sell hot food and drinks (late night refreshments) 10.00 pm to 05.00 am. The Council Licensing Committee met this morning to consider this application and I am sorry to say the licence was approved. This wasn’t a surprise as there were no objections from either the police or Environmental Services.
The Licensing Committee is very formal and is basically run by lawyers. The garage was represented by a lawyer who made sure that the objections were to specific points to do with the licensing regulations. For example complaints about the disturbance of having the forecourt lights on full 24 hours a day and the additional noise from cars parking on the forecourt during the night were ruled out of order.
We did get two conditions added to the licence and these are that entrance to the shop will be closed to customers between 11.00pm and 06.00am and all sales will be via the nights sales hatch during these hours. This is important because the garage plan to have only one staff member on duty late at night. Hot food sales at night will be limited to prepacked items.
We understand that the petrol station already has permission to sell fuel 24 hours a day, there are no conditions on the original garage. Therefore there is nothing to stop them going ahead with their plans. So much for the protection of such development in a conservation area.
It is important that if you hear complaints from people who live near the petrol station complaining about litter, anti social behaviour or other activities they should contact the police. Figures show that around Knaphill/Brookwood area there are an average of 50 police reports a month of anti social behaviour. Once the petrol station is open 24 hours day I would expect that such behaviour to be concentrated in that area. Residents are encouraged to attend the police forum that is held in Knaphill and for them to air their views.