Bournville councillors & residents win licensing battle with Tesco

No licence for store – just yards away from historically 'alcohol-free' Bournville

L-R: Residents Mr Tom Pritty, Mr Peter Evans, Cllr Liz Clements and Mrs Tracey Sealey

After hearing representations from Bournville residents and councillors, Birmingham City Council Licensing Committee refused Tesco a licence application to sell alcohol just yards away from the border of the historic Bournville Village Trust estate earlier this week (Wednesday 2nd January). 

The sale of alcohol has been restricted within the estate – which was built by the Cadbury family on a Quaker ethos – for over a century.

Tesco had applied for a licence for the Tesco Express store in Linden Road after originally being refused the licence in 2007 after a community campaign.

The new application was strongly opposed by many residents and by ward councillors Liz Clements and Fred Grindrod who feared an increase in anti-social behaviour, traffic and obstructive parking.

Residents and councillors took their case to the Licensing Committee again, asking Tesco to respect Bournville’s unique character and raising their concerns about the impact of alcohol sales on residents in nearby streets.

The committee decided to refuse the application.

Cllr Liz Clements (Bournville and Cotteridge, Lab) said: “This outcome is a welcome late Christmas present for worried residents on Linden Road and Beaumont Road. I urge Tesco to act as a good neighbour and respect the decision taken by the Licensing Committee today.”

With a 21 day deadline for appeals, and it is not yet known whether Tesco will lodge an appeal with the council.


  1. What is more of a concern to me is that they are allowed to sell any fresh produce within this store given their awful food hygiene standards (unsure why the inspectors have recently seen fit to remove the 1 star rating for 4 stars). Anyone purchasing refrigerated goods, or goods which should be refrigerated, are risking their health.
    Hopefully Tesco will make the decision, given their inability to secure an alcohol licence, to sell uo and allow a McDonalds to be built in its place.

  2. Seems weird that it was refused given the shop in Mary Vale Road (closer to BVT) was approved a while back. I’m not sure there is any real evidence of anti-social behaviour increase outside licensed shops. Its the 21st Century!

  3. In 2007 I was really heartened by the refusal of the application. Having thought this through I have changed my mind completely:
    Firstly the BVT estates are not dry, there are a number of sports and private members clubs where you can get a drink if you can join and just down the road you have the Old Farm Hotel and the Working Mens Club which are fully licenced,

    Secondly I know many Quakers in the area who will happily offer you a glass of wine when visiting-everything in moderation- actually I haven’t touched a drop in forty plus years.

    Thirdly: I live in Bournville and we have a complete lack of good convenience stores, like the new Co-op on Kings Norton Green. The Co-op own a large premises on Heath Rd which has been empty for years, I spoke with a senior employee of the Co-op who told me they would like to open it but without a off licence its not viable, so we all loose out.

    Fourthly: A small family convenience store and newsagents on the none BVT side of Maryvale Rd got a licence after much furore a couple of years back and this hasn’t caused mayhem. The Tesco in question is a disgrace, I used it recently and it was filthy. However I suspect that this is as much about the councillors dislike of a big multi-national is far more behind this than anything else.

    There is also an assumption that people who will use the off licence cause disturbance and will be disorderly The residents Maryvale, Beaumont and Franklin are a rough and disreputable mob and certainly shouldn’t be allowed access to alcohol!!!!!!!!!! except from Ocado obviously.

    While I think the Councillors are well intentioned I think they haven’t thought this through and could well find themselves accused of hypocrisy.


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