CONCERNS over antisocial behaviour have been raised in Durrington after a petrol station was granted a licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day.

Following a licensing hearing, Esso Service Station in Durrington was granted permission to sell alcohol from its shop round the clock, despite current opening hours limiting trading to 6am-11pm.

However if hours are extended, a window hatch would be used to block people coming into the shop in the early hours of the morning.

Councillor and resident Graham Wright said years of hard work from the police, residents and businesses to stop antisocial behaviour could be undone in the “sleepy village” if the licence was allowed.

He said that the village had been used as a racetrack by young drivers and believed the petrol station could become a key meeting group for young people to meet and buy booze from.

Cllr Wright said: “We have a history of younger people driving and congregating within our community especially late at night and this licence will bring the potential for public nuisance with antisocial behaviour. It would be an ideal meeting point for younger people who would be driving.

“Common sense prescribes that there should be a restriction on the licensing hours that would bring it in line with the other local licensed off sales would be sensible and acceptable.”

But owners said they were committed to stamping out any bad behaviour if the new alcohol licence caused disruptions.

Speaking on behalf of Malthurst Ltd, solicitor Robert Bothai said: “Here as in many other places, people are painting a picture of something that has not yet happened.

“I’ve heard many residents in other areas say terrible things will happen if we started selling alcohol, but I can say it is unlikely to happen If it does and youths do congregate or use it as a meeting point contact us because then there will be evidence and we will carry out a review. I am confident we will suspend alcohol sales if it does create problems in the community.”

The licensing committee granted permission for the petrol station to be granted around the clock alcohol licence yesterday afternoon during a meeting in Salisbury.