The deadline for applying for your expensive new off licence ‘grandfather’ rights is now approaching swiftly. But it isn’t just retailers dragging their feet – a lot of councils aren’t up to speed either.

Susan Young from Nantybuch Service Station at Tredegar, Gwent, was the first petrol station retailer in the country to get an off licence (25 years ago) plus she was first in her area to apply for the new licence. Fat lot of good it did her at first – no-one at the local council was able to help but they did give her an appointment and it was an uphill struggle from there.

The council eventually came good, and helped with enlarging the original store’s plans of the offie area to an acceptable size, assured her that she didn’t need to fork out extra to solicitors offering to help with licence renewals and then only took £190 off her for a premises licence and £37 x 2 for a couple of personal licences, which is about the minimum.

“It turned out to be quite simple in the end,” says Susan, “although at first it looked complicated.”

Final word on this. If you haven’t applied yet, please, do so. They’ll take your licence away come August if you haven’t.