Planners grant permission for shop inside former cannabis farm
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Part of a building previously used to grow cannabis is to be converted into a new convenience store.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent Borough Council’s statutory licensing sub-committee earlier this month councillors looked at an application by Sunny Singh Sangha to be allowed to sell alcohol at the shop.
Mr Sangha had applied for a new premises licence for The Venue Convenience Store, Commonwealth Road, Garnlydan, Ebbw Vale.
He wanted to be allowed to sell alcohol from 8am to 10pm from Monday to Sunday.
The shop is inside the “The Venue” club building.
Planning permission has already been granted that will allow the inside of the building to be reconfigured to accommodate the shop.
At the meeting objections were made against the application by the Adlam family, who run a nearby convenience store, but they said they were objecting as “residents.”
Everett Adlam said: “The state of the building is unsafe, guttering fell off a couple of months back, these things are a worry to us, it’s not fit for purpose.
“The premises has been used as a cannabis factory, on raiding the premises the police found that the electricity supply had been dangerously wired to bypass the meter.
“This was under the ownership of Mr Sangha who obviously knew nothing of what was going at his premises.”
He added that the building had been damaged in a fire and remains in a “terrible state of repair.”
“I urge you to take a look at the building before you make a decision,” said Mr Adlam
Mr Sangha’s legal advisor, Geoff Dixon said: “The only two representations from members of the public have come from a building that has a vested interest.
“During the period that the cannabis farm was there, Mr Sangha was not the leaseholder for the building, he co-operated fully with the police.”
“We take on board the comments as to the condition of the building, it will be addressed and will undergo extensive refurbishment.”
The committee’s legal advisor, Sally-Ann Evans said that councillors had been made “aware” of initial objections by Gwent Police to the application.
These objections were later withdrawn after Mr Sangha agreed to various conditions to the licence.
After receiving arguments for and against the licence application, the committee made up of councillors Wayne Hodgins, John Hill and Tommy Smith retired to confer and make a decision.
Following their deliberations, Ms Evans announced that the licence had been granted, on condition that CCTV is to be operated at the shop, that the equipment is maintained in good working order and the images are kept for 31 days.
A second application to vary the licence so that the building can be separated and remodelled was also approved.
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