Resident stops Belvin’s selling alcohol
A Glebe Road resident has branded the decision of the Liquor Licensing Authority preventing the Belvin’s Variety store on his road from selling alcohol as “a victory for the little man”.
Rodney Smith provided the LLA with five binders of documents and photographs as well as three videos highlighting the antisocial behaviour associated with individuals buying alcohol from the shop.
Yesterday, the LLA rejected an application by Belvin’s Variety boss, George Swan, to renew its liquor licence for the Glebe Road store.
“I am extremely happy with today’s decision by the LLA,” said Mr Smith. “This was a unanimous decision and shows that the courts can do something for the little man.
“It allows me to claim back my neighbourhood and shows other people that they can do the same.
“It’s been a long battle but this is the right result. All the work we have put into showing the adverse consequences of alcohol being sold at the store has been worth it.”
Mr Smith maintained that as soon as the Belvin’s store next to his home acquired a liquor licence in November 2015, he began to endure a plethora of negative consequences, including knife-fights outside his home, people tying dogs and bikes to his gate and miniature liquor bottles being dumped in his mailbox.
He compiled a raft of documentation and pictures cataloguing the adverse affects he had suffered. Mr Smith was helped in his campaign by former MP Dale Butler.
“We are delighted,” Mr Butler said. “We are not lawyers, but with a lot of hard work and the court’s help we were able to put forward our case.
“We faced a lot of abuse along the way too, but we have the right result at the end of the day. We would like to thank the Heard Chapel AME Church for standing with us throughout.”
In June last year, The Royal Gazette reported that the Glebe Road Belvin’s grocery store had had its liquor licence revoked after residents complained that the sale of alcohol had prompted antisocial behaviour, traffic disruption and increased littering.
The owner of Belvin’s was also chastised by the LLA for illegally selling miniature bottles of spirits to customers at both its Glebe Road and Happy Valley stores.
Belvin’s appealed against the LLA decision to the Supreme Court where Chief Justice Ian Kawaley criticised the LLA for cherry-picking evidence when deciding to ban a grocery store from selling alcohol.
After Belvin’s appeal was upheld, the LLA was told it would have to reassess whether or not to return the liquor licence for Belvin’s Variety on The Glebe Road, Pembroke.
At yesterday’s short hearing Juan Wolffe, chairman of the LLA, provided the parties with the authority’s decision.
He said: “By unanimous decision of the Central District of the Liquor Licensing Authority, the applicant’s application for an A licence for Belvin’s Variety in Glebe Road is hereby refused.
“The LLA shall forward reasons for its decision on February 8.”