DISTRICT councillor Mike Gittus has joined town councillors in speaking out against a licencing application to convert a former pharmacy in Hopkins Precinct into an off-licence.

Hopkins Pharmacy which used to occupy the building, moved to Alcester Health Centre when it opened, and the shop front has remained vacant, but now an application has been submitted to Stratford District Council for a change of use to a ‘Super Wines and Spirits’ off licence.

The precinct already contains a Tesco Express which sells alcohol, and Coun Gittus is concerned about the effect that raising the number of alcohol outlets could have on the area.

He said: “Alcester north and Conway is an area already beset with social, health, education and crime issues. Much work continues to improve these concerns, and improving they are.

“Alcohol consumption has a direct correlation to all the issues that we as a community would like to continue to solve in the Conway area. The addition of a 'convenience alcohol supermarket' in this area would be disastrous to these continuing improvements.

“I implore the committee when considering this application to reject it for the good of the community of Alcester north and Conway.”

The licensing application is due to come before the Stratford District Council Licensing Panel at its next meeting on Friday, February 7 at 1pm. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which is taking place at Elizabeth House in Stratford.