UPDATE: ‘It would be grossly unfair to penalise new Buzz Wine owner’

Buzz Wine North St Leighton Buzzard
Buzz Wine North St Leighton Buzzard

A wine store in Leighton Buzzard has been allowed to keep its licence after councillors heard it has come under new ownership.

Buzz Wine in North Street faced an application to remove its licence last week after complaints of persistently selling alcohol to street drinkers who were intoxicated.

Licencee Ali Iraj Azhir had already been prosecuted for selling to underage customers after being caught in a council sting.

The original hearing had been due to take place in July but was deferred to September 20. At that hearing, the licencing panel was informed that the wine store had come under new ownership, with the new licencee attempting to work more constructively with the police and the council.

A CBC spokesman said: “The business has changed hands and Buzz Wines now has a new owner, premises licence holder and a new designated premises supervisor.

“At the request of the council and police, a number of conditions have been imposed and included in the premises licence.

“These include installing CCTV, keeping a ‘refusals book’ which should be made available to police or council enforcement officers and not supplying alcohol on ‘tick’.”

Police are said to have visited the premises and been happy with the new management.

Chairman of the licencing committee Cllr Tom Nicols said: “The evidence presented to us related to the previous owner of the business who had since sold it. I think it’s likely that had the previous owner came before us, we may not have supported his retention of the licence.

“In our discussion with the new owner it was clear she intended to run the business in a very genuine, honest way.

“It would be grossly unfair to penalise somebody buying a new business for the previous owner’s failings.”

Council licencing staff are also due to visit the premises soon.