A WINE shop accused of selling alcohol to underage children has surrendered its licence ahead of a meeting which would have decided its future.

The Comet: A sign on the door of Hitchins Wine CellarA sign on the door of Hitchins Wine Cellar (Image: Archant)

Police raised concerns with Hitchins Wine Cellar in Hermitage Road, prompting North Herts District Council licensing officers to call a meeting.

The meeting, due to be held on Tuesday, would have reviewed the premises’ licence, but the council was told on Monday the shop owner was voluntarily giving up the licence.

Police had raised concerns about the sale of alcohol to children under 18 and also claimed the licence holder – who also ran the independent store – had failed to “prevent crime and disorder”.

North Herts District Council’s housing and environmental health portfolio holder Cllr Bernard Lovewell said: “As the licensing authority, it is our duty to work with residents, the police and other organisations to ensure that people selling alcohol are doing so responsibly.

“Following a request from the police, specifically regarding concerns about the sale of alcohol to children, we scheduled a hearing of our licensing committee to review issues raised regarding 25 Hermitage Road.

“Ahead of the hearing, officers discussed the details of the report with the licence holder who subsequently volunteered to surrender his licence.”

The Comet attempted to contact the store, but at the time of going to press was unable to reach anyone.

The shop was also closed when the Comet visited on Tuesday.