MORE than 500 residents have objected to a supermarket’s plans to extend its alcohol licence.
Tesco has applied to South Kesteven District Council to add an extra two hours to the licence for its store in Godsey Lane, Market Deeping.
At the moment alcohol can be sold at the store between 6am and 10pm seven days a week, but the company wants extend the licence to midnight.
Tesco has not applied to extend the store’s opening hours, which are 7am to 10pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 4pm Sundays.
The company has sought to reassure residents that the new alcohol licence would only come into force on special occasions like the Christmas holidays, where opening hours are temporarily increased.
But some people are worried that opening hours would be extended permanently if the new alcohol licence is granted.
Kevin O’Neill, 68, of Beech Close, Market Deeping, thinks an extended licence would lead to a range of problems.
He said: “The town council workers and police have fought a valiant effort to combat litter and antisocial behaviour on John Eve Field and Glebe Field.
“With the new hours, this is more than likely to increase.
“There will be more traffic, both deliveries and customers.”
Mr O’Neill started a petition against the plans to extend the licence, and has been circulating it around Market Deeping.
He began at the new Hardwicke Gardens estate, which is right next door to the store.
But he soon found opposition further afield and got signatures from Black Prince, Godsey Lane, Joan Wake Close, Hawthorn and Beech Close, Oak Grove, John Eve Way, Lancaster Way, Shackleton Close, Towngate East, Chestnut Way, Courtfields, Kingsgate, The Orchard and The Grove.
Mr O’Neill submitted the petition to the district council on Tuesday, by which time it contained about 550 names.
The council has not set a date to consider the application but will take the petition into account. Mr O’Neill said he would to go to the meeting when the plans are considered to speak out against them.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We can reassure the people of Market Deeping there will be no extra disturbance with the new licence.
“There is no application to extend opening hours. The new licence will mean we do not have to apply for a temporary licence on particular occasions like Christmas.”
But Mr O’Neill was not satisfied with the store’s explanation.
He said: “That is an argument I have heard.
“My view is that if Tesco says they are applying for a licence to sell alcohol from 6am to midnight seven days a week, that is what they are applying for.
“It shouldn’t be beyond their budget to apply for specific licences if that is what they want to do.
“Once it is granted they have a foot in the door.”