POLICE fear a Hereford corner shop is a front for people involved in criminal behaviour.

Herefordshire Council licensing chiefs are due to consider requests to allow Istanbul Food on Belmont Road to sell booze.

Applicant Klaudia Paluszak has submitted a licence application which seeks permission for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.

But West Mercia Police and Trading Standards have objected outright to the scheme.

Harm reduction coordinator Jim Mooney said the police had established that the lease to the premises is in the name of a person who is not the applicant.

“Whilst the applicant has explained that she is sub-leasing the premises from the current lease holder, she has been unable to provide supporting paperwork or information on how she intends to fund the business,” he said

“Therefore the police are concerned that the applicant is a front for others who are involved in criminal behaviour.”

Trading Standards said they are objecting based upon the lack of a sub let agreement and paperwork to prove legal ownership of the business.

Officer Leah Wilson said: “If this evidence had materialised then Trading Standards would have sought to include conditions on the premises licence to promote the licensing objectives.

“However I have been advised by the agent that the lease will not be sublet to the applicant until which time the applicant has secured a premises licence.

“Therefore, Trading Standards are concerned that the lease holder is still in legal control of this business and not the proposed designated premises supervisor.”

The licensing sub-committee will consider the plans at 10am on Thursday (June 20) at Hereford Town Hall.

A photograph used earlier today to accompany this story was of a different shop. We are happy to clarify that Belmont Express Food and Wine is not linked in any way to Istanbul Food.