LICENSING chiefs have delayed deciding whether or not to allow a Hereford shop to sell alcohol because the applicant did not turn up to the hearing.

West Mercia Police and Trading Standards had objected to the proposals for Razi Mini Market on Widemarsh Street to sell alcohol seven days a week from 7am until midnight.

Herefordshire Council was today (June 7) expected to determine the case but neither applicant Barzan Shekzade or his agent turned up to the licensing sub-committee meeting.

Committee chairman Alan Seldon said he would adjourn the meeting until June 20 to allow for a fair hearing.

In his submissions, Mr Shekzade said he wished to open as a general store which also sells alcohol.

But Trading Standards and West Mercia Police have serious reservations over the proposals and submitted two outright objections.

Trading Standards officer Leah Wilson said: “It has been brought to our attention that the applicant has a history of being involved in the sale and supply of illicit tobacco from shops he owns in the Sandwell area.

“The evidence shows that we have reason to believe that Barzan Shekzade is not a fit and proper person to hold a premises licence or to uphold the licensing objectives, namely prevention of crime and disorder.”

West Mercia Police said they objected to the application on the grounds that to grant it will undermine the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm.

Jim Mooney, harm reduction and licensing coordinator, said: “West Mercia Police are in receipt of information with regards to the applicant (who is also the proposed designated premises supervisor) that is of a nature that in our opinion raises concern over his (their) suitability to hold a premises licence.”