CONCERNED residents in Minehead fear there will be an increase in anti-social behaviour if a local petrol station is allowed to sell alcohol and food for longer.

Rontec, the company which runs the forecourt at the Esso Garage in Townsend Road, has applied to West Somerset Council for permission to serve alcohol 24 hours a day and hot food until 5am.

But people living in Townsend Road say there is already a problem with rowdy behaviour, especially on Saturday evenings, and are worried that it will increase if the proposal is allowed.

One resident who wished not to be named, said: “The problem doesn’t start and lie solely with the garage itself, but it’s sadly where it ends up and if the council extends the licence then I feel it’s going to get worse.

“People already gather there. It’s so bad on a Saturday that I have to take sleeping pills.

“People are just so noisy and some even urinate against cars and homes and throw things. It’s unacceptable.

“If people know they can get alcohol, then more are bound to go there and the problem will get worse.”

Minehead councillor Gail Everett said: “We had no idea that there was such a problem in Townsend Road and I had no idea that the garage even had a licence to serve alcohol – it’s surprising.

“We’ve heard that people are gathering there and I can see the problem increasing if the licence is granted.

“It’s all the other roads people then go down which will suffer as well.”