A THRIVING Lerwick convenience store and garage has been granted permission to sell alcohol seven days a week after its owners gathered over 600 signatures signalling demand for off-licence sales.
Sound Service Station’s application to sell drink from 10am until 10pm from Monday to Sunday went before the Shetland Area Licensing Board because, under the 2005 licensing act, alcohol sales are not authorised from premises used as a garage for the sale of petrol and diesel.
Lawyer Paul Wishart set out to the board that exemptions can be made in certain circumstances, pointing to a signature sheet containing 630 names – more than half of which were in Lerwick – stating they relied on the service station as a principal source of fuel and groceries.
SIC councillor and board member Alastair Cooper said that, while there was another licensed premises in the proximity, many people used Sound Service Station while travelling to and from the South Mainland and having a garage selling alcohol was “not that dissimilar to Brae where we have the same sort of situation”.
Board chairman Ian Scott moved to grant the licence, and was seconded by Cooper.
Afterwards, Jordan Thomason – who has run the shop with his wife Gemma since March 2016 – said he was “happy for our customers that have been wanting this for the last couple of years”.
“Obviously being in the shop day in, day out and speaking to our customers day in, day out we’ve had a lot of them continually ask if this is something that we’re going to get, and it’s always been in our thought process,” he said.
“To get it granted is something we’re chuffed about. One thing that we’ve done at Sound since we started is we’ve made sure we’ve taken our time and done things right, so we’re not just going to rush into doing it.
“We haven’t asked for a massive amount of space [to sell alcohol], so we just need to make sure that what we get in suits the business and is done right.”
Sound Service Station has undergone a transformation since the couple took the shop over, with improvements to the look and layout as well as a significant increase in the amount of local produce stocked.
“I think anybody that’s been into Sound over the last couple of years can see where we want to go with it,” Jordan said. “There’s a massive, massive area – as the signatures shows – that are reliant on us and we want to provide the best shopping experience that we possibly can for them.”
Meanwhile, Shetland Rugby Club’s application for an occasional licence for a marquee at Clickimin as part of its annual seven-a-side tournament has also been granted.
It went before the board because it exceeds the standard 48-hour period for occasional licences. The licence will be valid from 14-17 June, applying on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday daytimes.