Pub conversion licence concerns

St Oswald's Arms pub, Priory Road, Featherstone
St Oswald's Arms pub, Priory Road, Featherstone

AN application to turn a derelict Featherstone pub into a convenience store has been met with strong concern from residents.

A report to Wakefield Council’s licensing committee to vary the premises licence at the former St Oswald Arms on Priory Road received 187 objections from the community, including one from West Yorkshire Police.

The applicants, Amrit Singh and Manveer Kaur Haire, trading as ASMD Group – who plan to turn the disused pub into a convenience store – are seeking to alter the existing site licence so they can sell alcohol from 6am instead of 10am.

Karen Kerr, chairman of Huntwick and Verner Tenants’ Association, said: “A few residents were upset about the application.

“The concern was that the shop owner was going to serve alcohol from 6am to 1am the next morning. But a convenience store is good for the area, there’s very little in Featherstone and this would be in the heart of the community.

“I’m supportive of that, and we’ve spoken to the owner and he said he will close at 11pm and put provisions in place like CCTV and challenging underage drinking.”

A licensing sub-committee will meet on Tuesday September 13 to decide whether to grant the application.

Tony Singh, owner of the St Oswald Arms site, said: “Quite a large number of people who objected have withdrawn their concerns in light of a presentation we did three weeks ago.

“We had a lot of comments from residents saying the information they had wasn’t accurate and they were objecting to an off-licence, not a convenience store.

“This won’t just be an off-licence, it’s a full range convenience store which residents feel is more viable. The licence is to allow the sale of alcohol from 6am and closing at 11pm, not 1.30am like residents thought.”

The council said two objections had been withdrawn.