Moulton garage gets the green light for booze sales despite fears of 'congregating' lorry drivers

Shell can now open and supply customers with booze overnight, with the garage hoping to capture the night market of HGV drivers to keep the business viable.
Shell can now open and supply customers with booze overnight, with the garage hoping to capture the night market of HGV drivers to keep the business viable.

A Moulton garage has been granted permission to sell alcohol overnight – despite the concerns of residents that it could lead to anti-social behaviour.

Shell can now open and supply customers with booze overnight, with the garage hoping to capture the ‘night market’ of HGV drivers to keep the business viable.

But residents say it will exacerbate existing problems with litter and noise, and anti-social behaviour in general.

Barbara Jackson, a resident who lives near the Park View garage, said: “There have been ongoing problems relating to noise levels, and it’s not just because this application has gone in.

“We can’t call the police every time a truck driver swears at you when you ask him to leave your drive. I have called police on three occasions relating to noise and problem issues.

“And it’s quite a common sight to see drivers relieving themselves at the side of the road.”

She added: “Recently a truck driver not only left a complete littering mess at the side of the road, but was spotted walking around his vehicle with his private parts on display.”

But Sarah Clover, a barrister for Kings Chambers in Birmingham and representing Shell, said: “This is not to get people there as a drinking outlet, but as a comprehensive convenience offering.

“During these night-time hours the premises operate through a hatch system. Customers need to identify the products they want and get them through the hatch.

“There’s no particular reason to think that the granting of this licence would cause extra noise. There’s the perception that people would come and get alcohol through the hatch and then congregate.

“You don’t see people downing the bottle of wine they have just bought in the car park and then drive off. It doesn’t work like that, and it’s just as likely to happen outside a supermarket as a garage.

"It’s not as if people will finish in the town centre and then say ‘let’s head up to Shell for a swift one’.

“The reality is that we want to capture people travelling later and night shift workers who want to get a coffee or buy a basket of goods that they’re taking with them to their destination.

“If garages were totally reliant on their fuel offering then they would not be viable.”

After hearing the evidence, three councillors on Daventry District Council’s licensing committee granted the application on Monday afternoon – with a string of conditions including staff training every six months, refusal logs being kept regularly and that service will only be through the night hatch between 11pm and 5am daily.

Committee chair Councillor Amy Howard said the conditions were ‘robust’, and told residents: “We listened to your representations very clearly, and we would say that they are more relevant to the planning process.”

Resident Mrs Jackson added: “It’s a residential area, and anything that happens with extending the hours is going to be detrimental to the residents’ quality of life.”
has been granted permission to sell alcohol overnight – despite the concerns of residents that it could lead to anti-social behaviour.