A controversial new shop has been granted a licence despite almost 200 complaints from residents.

A petition of residents opposing the plans to open Avenue Food and Wine on 92 Northcourt Avenue received 194 signatures, while 21 letters of objection have been sent to Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The application for a licence, which allows the store to sell alcohol and open beyond 8pm, was approved at this morning’s Licensing committee hearing at RBC.

Ilmeet Kaur Chopra initially applied for opening hours and sale of alcohol from 7am to midnight but this has now been changed to 8am to 10pm.

Surendra Panchal, representing the applicant, said: “Ms Chopra is going to make sure the community is not disappointed.

“We will work hard to make sure the community is served well.”

Residents complained about the proximity of the shop to another off licence and a scouts headquarters, as well as parking issues.

Robert Cox, one of the 11 residents attending to object to the application, said: “I am disappointed.  I will appeal if I can.”

No objections were submitted by Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Thames Valley Police’s licensing teams.

The Northcourt Avenue Residents’ Association (NARA) led opposition to the application, which they say will lead to a huge increase in anti-social behaviour, vermin, litter, road damage, pollution and noise.

Simone Illger, chair of NARA, said: “I think it will be interesting to see how things pan out for them.

“I am quite surprised about the decision. During the meeting lots of searching questions were asked on the licence holder who has never sold alcohol before.

“I am glad that we had the opportunity to make the views of residents known.

“It was reassuring that councillors referred to the strength of feeling of residents.”

NARA and the council won a battle with the University of Reading earlier this year against development of an additional 654 rooms at St Patrick’s Hall, Northcourt Avenue.

Their concerns included anti-social behaviour in the area surrounding the student halls, with more than a hundred complaints sent to the university, police and council in a 15-month period.