Controversial Wigan booze store closes

The former Extra Food and Booze store in Ashton
The former Extra Food and Booze store in Ashton
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A shop in a town centre which was controversially allowed to sell alcohol in the face of public opposition has shut its doors after barely 18 months in business.

Extra Food and Booze in Ashton-in-Makerfield recently ceased trading at the former Savoy Beds store on Warrington Road.

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The premises are now shuttered and all the signs have been taken down, despite the firm’s only being given permission to sell liquor by Wigan Council in March 2017.

That decision sparked a local backlash as residents had warned it would add to anti-social behaviour problems in Ashton as the town centre was already said to be saturated with places offering alcohol.

Local reports said the business had run into severe financial difficulties but the town hall said it had no evidence that there had been any wrongdoing.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure and regulatory services said: “We are aware that the premises in Ashton has ceased trading but we do not know the reason for this.

“Neither the council’s trading standards or licensing teams have any proceedings pending against the premises.

“As with all new licensing applications to sell alcohol, we consult with residents as part of the process and they are entitled to make representations as regards the application.

“We did receive some objections to this application and as such the matter was considered by the council’s licensing committee, who determined that the licence should be granted.”

Local resident and community campaigner Michael Moulding, who has been outspoken about alcohol-related disorder and anti-social behaviour issues in Ashton, said the failure of Extra Food and Booze was a warning about businesses being given permission to trade when they are not wanted by those living nearby.

Mr Moulding said: “The community objected to the licence for this in the first place.

“That tells you people did not want an off licence there.

“The fact they’ve now upped sticks and gone is a lesson for Wigan Council to learn.

“In their wisdom they went against the local community’s wishes to approve the licence and the result is an unviable business because residents won’t support it.”

Mr Moulding had recently reported the business to the town hall’s licensing department over dangerous and illegal parking but the request to review the terms of trading was revoked after an agreement on the matter was reached.