A COMPANY with two cafes in the city centre wants to sell alcohol and host live music – angering residents nearby.

Coffee Lab, which runs 'The Square' and a premises in Little Minster Street, has received hefty backlash after submitting requirements for new licensing permissions.

The application will go before a committee on May 12 where councillors will decide its fate. More than 20 locals have objected.

If approved, both buildings will be allowed to host live music and play recorded songs Monday to Sunday between 6pm and 11pm, whilst selling alcohol between 9am and 10pm.

Elisabeth Vaughan, of Kings Head Yard, wrote to the council: "Firstly, I would like to inform you that my husband (disabled 92 year old with poor health and is room-ridden at the front of the flat) and I am his carer (85 year old and registered disabled too), we both live directly above The Coffee Lab Academy. This application has come at a very stressful time for our family.

"We believe if this application went ahead, it would increase crime and disorder to this area, with late night drinking and a general demise of the area that will attract criminals and increase anti-social behaviour. In this small road and alleyway which is currently used regularly by drug addicts and drunken people for urinating, drug use, theft and general anti-social behaviour.

"This alley way is regularly seen with empty cans, alcoholic drinks, abandoned drug syringes all caused by the previous night-time economy and also is inhabited by drug addicts and alcoholics living in the

city centre. With the introduction of late night drinking this problem will only significantly increase, so in order to prevent crime and disorder we strongly believe this licensing application should not be approved.

"It has been proven that late night drinking increases anti-social behaviour and this application if successful will a detriment to the thriving city of Winchester."

Hampshire Constabulary initially objected to the new licensing permissions, but removed this representation after speaking with the business.

But county and city councillor Jackie Porter is still against the plans.

She said: "I would like to object to the early sale of alcohol as off-sales on the basis that we have an ACZ in Winchester, enforced through a PSPO. This includes the area of the Cathedral Grounds.

"The selling of off-sales alcohol from 9am would risk increasing the potential temptation for those who wish to drink outside in the surrounding public spaces around the Square from early morning. This would increase the likelihood of acts of crime and disorder , and public nuisance.

"This is also about the message it sends to people who are on the streets at 9am. I assume that the description of off-premises is not on the tables outside. Even if it were, different legislation for alcohol consumption in the same area whether standing or sitting sets a poor example to others."

The Chronicle will cover the committee on May 12.