Fury at 'farcical' licence conditions

By Matt Eley Matt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: License, City, Councillor

Punters drinking outside a city centre pub will now have to sit down to sup - but smokers can stand up. Furious licensee Phil Cutter has branded the...

Punters drinking outside a city centre pub will now have to sit down to sup - but smokers can stand up.

Furious licensee Phil Cutter has branded the extraordinary council conditions slapped on his pub, the Gardeners Arms in Norwich, as "farcical".

The tough new restrictions mean outside tables have to be spaced out a set amount and drinkers have to sit down - but smokers can stand.

"The conditions are farcical," said Phil. "How can we ensure the tables are placed at a certain distance other than taking a ruler out every day?"

The conditions came about after a bid to end a dispute with neighbouring optician Moss and Leakey failed.

The opticians had again objected to Phil's plans to the city council. But Phil said the new conditions could be the first step towards his licence at the pub, known locally as the Murderers, being refused.

"We are pleased we have got the licence but this is the fourth time the licence has come up for renewal in four years and I expect Moss and Leakey to object again in a year's time," he said.

He warned: "Eventually we could have so many conditions imposed on the licence that it could end up being unworkable."

Phil said the optician was blaming the pub for a loss of trade.

David Foskett, managing partner at Moss and Leakey, refused to comment on the bizarre wrangle.

The "Murderers" has had permission to put out tables and chairs since 1996. But Moss and Leakey insist the road and pavements are not wide enough to safely allow for chairs and tables. The business claims smokers and drinkers outside the pub are rowdy and intimidate their customers.

Related topics: Licensing law

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