A shop which specialises in oriental foods has seen its bid to sell alcohol rejected.

Trading standards objected to the proposal for 5 HAO in Southampton after reportedly finding 34 bottles of alcoholic spirits not marked as UK Duty Paid and 247 packs of ‘illegal’ cigarettes at the premises.

It was claimed the items found were for personal use but trading standards said it would have taken 25 trips abroad to bring back the permitted quantity of duty-free cigarettes for personal use.

Members of Southampton City Council’s licensing sub-committee refused the premises licence application following a meeting on March 27.

The hearing decision notice said councillors felt there were “inconsistencies in the applicant’s version of events and preferred the evidence of the trading standards officer”.

5 HAO had sought permission to sell alcohol from 8am to 11pm every day of the week at the shop in Hanover Buildings.

A written objection from council trading standards officer Lucas Marshall said he inspected 5 HAO in late January, which led to the discovery of alleged offences.

Mr Marshall revisited the shop several days later with a senior licensing officer.

The retailer had been intending to apply for a premises licence since December last year, Mr Marshall said.

In his objection, he said: “When a premises makes an application for a premises licence I would expect them to be at their best, exercising diligence to promote compliance with the legislation which applies to them.”

The sub-committee felt the allegations of non-duty paid tobacco and alcohol on the premises “showed a fundamental lack of knowledge” of licensing legislation, the decision notice said.

“The sub-committee were not convinced that the significant amounts of tobacco and alcohol on the premises was consistent with personal use,” the notice said.

“The fact that no individual cigarette packets were open, and no bottles of alcohol were opened was inconsistent with personal use.

“The sub-committee was therefore not convinced that these items would not be passed or sold on to others from the premises. As such the sub-committee had concerns that this might continue in the future.”