A new late-night off licence could encourage ‘fights, vandalism and crime', neighbours fear.

Bracknell Forest Council is set to decide whether to grant a licence to sell alcohol from 8am to 11pm seven days a week to a planned new shop on Ralphs Ride.

Some 42 people have written to the council asking for the application to be refused. But the owner’s representative says the community will benefit from new lighting and CCTV.

The new off licence would open at 1B Ralphs Ride, next to a Stop and Shop that also sells alcohol. Dozens of residents’ letters raise fears it would encourage crime and anti-social behaviour.

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Some 37 identical letters warned of fights and vandalism. They said: “Customers loitering outside the shop, especially during late hours, could engage in anti-social behaviours, including noise disturbances and vandalism.

“There’s potential for increased alcohol-fuelled disturbances including fights or domestic disputes, which could contribute to a rise in crime in the area.”

Others argued that there are already too many off licences in the area.

One letter said: “There already exists a convenience store (Stop and Shop) that sells alcohol directly opposite my home, two pubs nearby, a 24 hours petrol station, off licence and Londis store all selling alcohol all less than 0.5 miles of my home.

“Over the years I have endured numerous disorderly and criminal behaviour on my property from drunk people, so much that I've had to install security cameras to protect myself and my property.

“I've had drunk people knocking at my door in the early hours of the night screaming to be let in. Vandalism and theft of property.”

But an agent for the shop owners has pointed out that police have not objected to the plans. And he says the shop will provide lighting and CCTV to prevent crime.

He also says the planned location is not in a ‘cumulative impact zone’ – an area where councils can limit the amount of licenses it grants if it believes there are too many causing problems.

Surendra Panchal of Personal Licence Courses told the News: “There is no complaint from the police who know the area better than anyone else.

“There’ll be lighting so it will be a big advantage to everyone. And if there are any problems it will be recorded on CCTV. These are the benefits the community will get.”

Mr Panchal also said his client is an experienced off licence owner, and will enforce licensing rules ‘robustly’.

Councillors on Bracknell Forest’s licensing panel were set to hear the case on Thursday, January 8.