A newsagent at the Market Cross in Malmesbury has been granted a licence to serve alcohol.

Wiltshire Council’s Northern Area Licensing Sub-committee has approved an application by Abbey Food, 4 Market Cross, to sell alcohol until 10pm daily.

Some concerns had been expressed that the decision would see anti-social behaviour in the top end of the High Street, while others argued the licence was in keeping with shops nearby.

William Sykes, of Oxford Street, wrote to Wiltshire Council: “Malmesbury is subject to a Designated Public Place Order, which was put in place because, in the past, misconduct and antisocial behaviour was caused by the purchase and drinking of alcohol in the centre of town.

“Past evidence has shown that the Market Cross is a natural place for groups of mainly young people to gather and, with a licence to sell alcohol from this premises in such a location, it can only encourage people who have been drinking to commit criminal acts, such as damage to properties.

Carol Hinwood, of Foxley Road, wrote: “I believe that another shop selling alcohol will encourage young people to consume alcohol on the streets of Malmesbury.”

Nearby shops, such as the Co-op in High Street, already sells alcohol until 10pm.

The committee deemed restricting sales to 10pm would address concerns and the licence was granted on condition the owners install CCTV equipment to cover trading areas, entrances and exits.