Councillors to decide on wine and gin bar

The proposed unit for Portland Wines at the Winstanley Centre
The proposed unit for Portland Wines at the Winstanley Centre
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The moment of truth is looming over whether supporters of a proposed new wine and gin bar for a Wigan shopping centre have the right mix to win over councillors.

Billinge-based Portland Wines is hopeful that their bid for a unit at the Winstanley Centre will find favour with the borough’s licensing committee.

And they have secured the backing of more than 30 people who applaud their application for the Holmes House Avenue centre.

But an objector believes the venture, which would open until 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, sends out the wrong message about her arcade. And her protest has led to the wine and gin bar being placed before the committee, which will meet at Wigan Town Hall on Friday.

In a letter to the licensing department, neighbour Lisa Gee said there were already three licensing premises within the centre, as well as The Poacher and nearby St Aidan’s social club.

She added: "I have lived in this area all my life and worked in the centre for 16 years and I have never known things (to be) so bad with anti-social behaviour. I feel that by allowing this to go ahead it will only encourage worse behaviour, as it will be open later in the evening, therefore encouraging the youngsters to congregate outside, which is what happened when Bargain Booze were granted their licence."

But the bulk of correspondence received on the Portland bin has wholeheartedly supported the plans, submitted by Lindsay Porter.

Angela Evans said: "They already run a premium wine and gin shop in Billinge and take their responsibilities very seriously. They do not and will not serve alcohol to those underage and work hard to ensure both outside and in is a safe place for all by challenging any groups congregating outside."

Emma Latham, in another e-mail submitted to the council, added: "I believe having an over-25s establishment on the precinct will provide a boost for the local area."

Lyndsay Porter, 38, who runs the shop in Billinge, with her partner Hobby Alam, 41, is hoping that public support will convince the town hall to approve a licence application.

Ms Porter, a teacher at Rainford High, said: "Everything you can drink in the bar will be available to purchase from the shop."

People will be able to have a look and experience our products that we sell without any restrictions."