Opening new pubs and bars in 'saturated' areas of the borough is to become more difficult as the council cracks down on problem drinking.

Sutton Council has declared several areas of the borough 'saturation zones' meaning anyone wanting to obtain a licence to sell alcohol in those areas must prove they meet stringent criteria and that they will not contribute toward alcohol related crime.

The council has identified seven zones, including Sutton High Street, Wallington town centre and Central Road in Worcester Park, because they have been particularly troubled by alcohol-related issues like violence and anti-social behaviour.

Council leader Councillor Ruth Dombey said: "We know that our residents want our town centres to be family friendly places and it is important we do everything we can to protect them.

"By introducing saturation ones we are making it more difficult for premises such as bars, pubs and clubs to successfully apply for new licenses or extensions to existing licenses.

"In a saturation zone, the onus is on them to prove that any application would not be to the detriment of the area.

"When judging this, we can look at the area as a whole, so if there are already a number of licensed premises, it would be far harder to make a case for more."

The council based its decision on in formation including police and ambulance data that identified areas including Sutton town centre as hotspots for alcohol related violence.

The ruling will not affect any premises' existing licences but will impact on anyone seeking a licence or looking to alter an existing one.

Area's declared saturation zones are: Sutton High Street, Central Road in Worcester Park, Rosehill, Wrythe Lane in Carshalton, The Queen Victoria Junction in Worcester Park, Sutton Common Road in Stonecot, Wallington town centre and Mollison Drive in Beddington.

Each separate saturation zone has a different focus and some include fast food shops that cause litter.