Plans to sell alcohol 24 hours a day in a residential area have caused concern for town councillors.

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The Shell garage in Exeter Road is currently being refurbished, and Shell has now applied for a licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day for consumption off the premises, and also provide late-night refreshment.

Shell says it will take steps to prevent antisocial behaviour, with a CCTV system being installed.

But councillors at this week’s town planning meeting said the plan was inappropriate for the garage, which is in a residential area, and next door to the Amberwood nursing home.

Councillor Richard Turner, who represents the Halsdon ward where the garage is located, said: “I think it’s totally inappropriate and quite unnecessary. If there aren’t enough areas around town selling alcohol … we don’t need to increase them.”

Councillors pointed out that a public footpath next to the garage would be a likely spot for drinkers to congregate, which could lead to antisocial behaviour.

Cllr Turner said: “There’s a problem with the back lane, where if youngsters can get alcohol, then that’s where they are going to go.”

Cllr Turner also said he was against alcohol being sold at filling stations, as he thought it could lead to drinking and driving.

Halsdon councillor Tim Dumper said: “I think it’s totally inappropriate, and I was quite surprised to see they had applied [for the licence].”

Councillors voted to send their objections to East Devon District Council, which will make the final decision on the application.

Speaking before the planning meeting, concerned resident Peter Martin, whose house is behind the garage, said: “Residents are very anxious about the application. Selling alcohol 24 hours a day will encourage more people to come into a residential area.”

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