Thwaites wins unprecedented High Court legal battle

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Thwaites has claimed a landmark victory in its High Court battle over the extended opening hours of one of its pubs.The High Court has overturned...

Thwaites has claimed a landmark victory in its High Court battle over the extended opening hours of one of its pubs.

The High Court has overturned Wirral Magistrates court's decision to reduce opening hours at the Saughall Hotel in Saughall Massie on Merseyside.

The pub was granted a licence by Wirral Council to remain open until 1am on Friday and Saturday and midnight from Sunday to Thursday in November 2005.

But magistrates cut the pubs hours after residents complained they feared excessive noise and disruption.

The case, believed to be the first legal challenge to a magistrates decision into opening hours since the Licensing Act of 2003, could set a legal precedent. The judge ruled that the decision was not evidence based and must be overturned.

Paul Howarth, retail operations director of Thwaites, said: "This was never about Daniel Thwaites taking on a group of residents local to one of our pubs, and in that regard it is a very hollow victory because we always pride ourselves on being at the heart of the communities we serve.

"However, it was very important for the future that we could not allow Wirral Magistrates to set a precedent by basing the decision on their views as opposed to coming to a conclusion on the evidence.

"We strongly felt that we needed to see this case out to a successful conclusion for the benefit of all stakeholders involved in these applications on an on-going basis, whether that be pub operators, local authorities, magistrates, local residents or police."

Related topics: Legislation

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