Brian Gascoyne from MANERP (the Millfield and New England Regeneration Partnership) and Mohammed Saeed, vice chair of Community First Peterborough, are pleading with the city council not to water down its policy with regards to alcohol licensing in the area.
Since April 2013, the council has adopted a Cumulative Impact Policy for all licensed premised in the CAN-do area which requires applicants to demonstrate why their premises will not add to existing problems, such as street drinking or youths consuming alcohol.
The policy is currently up for its three-year review, and both MANERP and CFP are calling on it to be extended.
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In a joint formal submission to the consultation process, Mr Gascoyne and Mr Saeed wrote: “The Millfield and New England area of Peterborough has had for years a history of anti-social behaviour fuelled by alcohol and drug abuse.”
The “phenomenal number” of off-licenses selling alcohol has “contributed significantly” to this, they said, adding: “The extent of frustration of long-time residents in the area is high as they have been deeply affected by alcohol-related behaviour including dumped alcohol cans and bottles, bottles broken by being thrown down on the pavement or roadside, people urinating and defecating in streets or in residents’ front gardens, noise created by shouting and irrational behaviour and more.
“Children cannot play safely in front gardens and the level of alcohol-related noise impacts on children’s sleeping patterns which has an impact on their studies in many cases.”
Mr Gascoyne and Mr Saeed said that residents have been unable to use bus stops in Lincoln Road and the outdoor gym at New England Rec due to street drinkers, with some facilities at the latter “no longer safe or available”.
The problems have been exacerbated by the ability to buy alcohol all day and a lack of police activity, the pair continued, and had led to a “significant level” of ‘white flight’ from the area.
They added: “All these factors mean that there is a high level of fear of crime in the area and, unless people have a choice, they would avoid the vicinity of Lincoln Road at a late night hour due to rowdy behaviour of drunk people in the street. Many residents would avoid the area at any time unless they have to come or pass through.
“Since its introduction, the Cumulative Impact Policy has been a small but nonetheless noticeable improvement in the Millfield and New England area. However, if the policy is terminated there is every probability that the problems that were responsible for the C.I. Policy’s introduction in the first place will return and worsen.”