A POLICY limiting the number of off-licences, pubs and clubs in Broadgreen is under review.

Swindon Borough Council has had a cumulative impact policy for establishments selling alcohol in Broadgreen since 2016. It allows the authority to refuse more licences to businesses on the grounds that there are enough already and more would lead to crime and antisocial behaviour.

Without the policy the council would find it harder to refuse licences on those grounds to applicants in good standing.

Licensing manager Kathryn Ashton told councillors it was a legal requirement to see whether the policy should continue.

She said: “The committee has to decide whether it wants a revised policy to be put out for public consultation. Officers would say we do need the policy.”

Ms Ashton said the policy was supported by Wiltshire Police and public health authorities and she invited police officers to speak.

PC Michael Diffin said: “Before the policy was brought in in 2016 there was no way to stop new businesses opening selling alcohol.

“Since then, we were able to close down six off-licences in about 18 months – some were selling illegal tobacco or alcohol under the minimum price or were employing illegal workers.

“We have had three applications for new licences in the last three years and when we asked why they needed the licence it was basically to make the business viable.

“When we asked how they would avoid adding to the impact on the local area not once did they come back, they went away.”

He said the police would very much want to see the policy renewed

Councillor Bob Wright, who represents Central ward, said nearby supermarkets where not included.

“I see people walking down the road with cases and bags of drink from the supermarket,” he said.

Coun Wright asked whether members of the public would be allowed to give their views, through parish councils residents associations and via borough ward councillors.

He said: “There’s an opportunity for public engagement here.”

Ms Ashton said the public were not statutory consultees, but added she was not opposed to people giving their views through councillors and parish councils.

She told councillor Nadine Watts that South Swindon Parish Council would be able to put forward views of residents.

The committee agreed to put the policy out to public consultation for six weeks from January 25 to March 8.

A committee meeting will be arranged for March to look at whether it will approve a new cumulative impact policy in light of the consultation.