Leeds grocery store owner promises not to sell super strength lagers and ciders

The owner of a new grocery store has insisted he won’t stock super strength ciders and lagers if given permission to sell alcohol.

By David Spereall
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 4:45 am

Read More

Read More
Leeds podcaster shining a light on her beloved Beeston home and the town's unfai...

Shakhawan Salahadin Ahmed has set up Main Street Local, on the premises of a former barbershop in Garforth.

Mr Ahmed, who only started the business this month, has asked Leeds City Council for a licence to sell booze until 11pm every day.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Shakhawan Salahadin Ahmed has set up Main Street Local, on the premises of a former barbershop in Garforth.

The plan received two objections on the grounds of public safety, with one neighbour claiming it would “attract anti-social behaviour” to the area.

However, the other objector, local councillor Mark Dobson, withdrew his objection in advance of the meeting after talks with the applicant.

Mr Ahmed has pledged to abide by 21 strict conditions if the council grants him the licence.

Speaking at a hearing on Tuesday, his representative, June Clarke, said: “My client is a responsible businessman and he just wants to be a part of the local community and run his business to help support his new wife and young family.

“There have been no (objections) from the police. I know from experience that Leeds police are very stringent. They certainly know what they’re doing and they’ve no concerns at all.

“The premises is on a busy junction where people have to cross the roads. I don’t think it’s a place where people will hang about. It’s not a lingering place.”

Councillors on the licensing panel expressed concerns about the prospect of high-strength booze contributing to street drinking and crime – a problem which has afflicted other parts of Leeds and the country as a whole.

Last week, police strongly opposed an Armley shop’s bid to sell alcohol, amid reports of topless drunks fighting and swearing around local schoolchildren in the area.

Conservative councillor Neil Buckley (Alwoodley ward) said: “We used to hear horror stories in certain areas of premises selling two litre bottles of high strength cider.

“Can we get an assurance that that won’t be on the menu?”

In response, Mr Ahmed said he wouldn’t sell any lager or cider above 6.5 per cent alcohol volume if given a licence.

The hearing was also told that the applicant had four years’ experience in retail and had had no previous issues with the police or Trading Standards.

He originally applied for an alcohol licence from 7am in the morning, when the Main Street shop opens, but told councillors he’d be happy to start later if requested to do so.

The application’s one remaining objector did not appear at the hearing and Mr Ahmed was told he’d be informed of the council’s decision within five working days.