An off-licence opposite a school has won its battle to sell booze in South West London after the headteacher complained it could make anti-social behaviour worse.

But corner shop staff have been told they must monitor the new shop’s entrance for the first hour after the end of school at Grey Court.

Ham Express has been given permission by Richmond Council to sell booze between 8am and 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays and until 10pm on Sundays.

The shop is set to open in an old Met Police station after it was allowed to become a shop on appeal in April.

Residents hit out at the application from Manno Singh Chopra in letters to the council, claiming it could increase underage drinking in the area and cause problems for a nearby community garden.

Grey Court School’s headteacher Chris Rhodes wrote: “This is already an area with high levels of anti-social behaviour and another licenced premises would further add to the issues.”

Lib Dem councillor Penny Frost added: “We already have significant problems of anti-social behaviour from groups of young people congregating after school and at weekends and holidays around the school and in the library garden for long periods of time…

“The local families who use the library find that the behaviour and associated litter etc make the garden very unpleasant to walk through, and there is a general concern that an alcohol licence will make access to alcohol for under-age drinkers far too easy.”

At the council’s licensing hearing on August 22, officer Sumeet Anand said locals were worried about “the shop being located opposite a large secondary school which residents believe will encourage young people to attempt to buy and consume alcohol around the area”. 

Ham Express’ solicitor Surendra Panchal said Mr Chopra had worked with the community and would make sure there was a member of staff at the shop’s entrance at the end of school to “cause less nuisance”.

He said: “If he finds somebody making noise, he will politely go and speak to the person and say: ‘Look we have got neighbours, can you calm down.’”

In licensing documents, Richmond Council said Mr Chopra was aware of the shop being close to a school and would accept extra conditions to reduce the risk of selling booze to underage kids.

It said: “The licensing sub-committee considered that the applicant had demonstrated that he could be trusted to act responsibly when managing the shop and selling alcohol.”

The authority said Mr Chopra was “well acquainted” with locals and had a lot of documents relating to “the appropriate management of his new business and the appropriate sale and monitoring of the sale of alcohol”. 

All booze bottles sold by the shop must be marked so it can be identified as the seller.