A shop hoping to cater for the East African community had its application for an alcohol licence rejected after concerns it could contribute to a growing street drinking problem in the area.

Brent Council’s licensing panel denied an application from Peaco Express Market, in Library Parade, Craven Park Road, to sell alcohol from 10am to 10.30pm seven days a week.

It came after officers from the Metropolitan Police and Brent Council expressed concerns that granting a licence could lead to increase in crime and disorder.

The council’s licensing team explained there are already serious issues in the area with street drinking and anti-social behaviour and adding another off-licence into the mix could prove harmful.

Weini Yohannes, who helps run Peaco and applied for the licence, said she wanted to provide a one-stop shop for people picking up East African products who might also want alcohol for meals.

Her agent, Olu Olusola, said it was common for members of this community to drink at mealtimes and that alcohol sales would only make up around 15 per cent of the shop’s total.

“This is a family business, which is trying to eke out a decent living – it’s not a big business and it’s not as if it is asking to operate until midnight,” Mr Olusola said.

“I understand the licensing officers’ points about not having more off-licences in this area, but, given the peculiarity of this business, this should be an exception to the rule.”

However, when pushed on what sort of alcohol she would sell, Ms Yohannes could only suggest “Italian wines” alongside European beers as opposed to East African specialities.

Licensing officers were also concerned about her intention to sell white cider, a product “often associated with street drinkers”.

Gary Norton, from the Met, said there was “no evidence” to suggest Peaco would be any different from other off-licences in the vicinity.

“There’s no need to have another shop providing alcohol and, in this case, there’s nothing unique about what customers are offered,” he said.

“I don’t see how this would help the area in any way, and it will contribute to anti-social behaviour.”