CHEAP booze shops which opponents say are not needed could in future be prevented from opening if a petition to Downing Street is successful.
The arrival of a Bargain Booze shop in Field End Road, Eastcote, in April sparked the action, when residents realised they had no powers to object to off-licences purely on the basis of need.
The petition was started by Eastcote Residents'Association member with responsibility for planning matters, Lesley Crowcroft.
She said: "Residents of any area in the country have no right to oppose an opening of an off licence and [the ERA] felt that has taken away a lot of our democratic rights.
"We feel we should have the right to say how many alcohol premises we have in an area.
"More than 500 people signed a petition against a Bargain Booze in Eastcote only to be told that the law says we can't prove it will be detrimental to safety and policing.
"The hours they are open are excessively long and the young people get hold of cheap alcohol and they proceed to litter the streets, cause damage and terrify the neighbourhood.
"The NHS says it is over-whelmed with people suffering from diseases brought on by excess alcohol and the younger somebody starts the more damage they will do to their health."
The petition asks that all applicants for a licence to sell alcohol should have to obtain planning permission first. This will give the residents the opportunity to object to the application if the off-licence is, in their opinion, not needed in the area.
Mrs Crowcroft, 61, said: "I think it will work if I can get enough people to sign it. I have sent it off to lots of people and asked them to send it on, so I am hoping to build it up that way.
"You have to get 200 signatures before it's given to the Prime Minister to look at and if I get 200 or more I will try and get attention from the national media.
"Until the loop hole in the act is closed there's nothing we can do to stop any of this."
By Monday afternoon, 20 people had signed it. * Ministers in Scotland are considering raising the age at which young people can buy alcohol in off-licences and supermarkets from 18 to 21-years-old. Do you think England should follow suit? Vist www.uxbridgegazette. co.uk/haveyoursay.
To sign the ERA petition on the Downing Street website visit http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/cheap-booze/