Staplecross Joint Ventures has now been granted permission to transform a former comedy club in the centre of Nottingham into a family friendly pub, to be called the Corn Exchange. The plans include adding the ground floor to the licensed area.
Police had raised concerns because the venue was at the heart of the city’s saturation zone – which allows the council to refuse applications if representations about cumulative impact, crime and disorder, and/or nuisance are received – and that a family friendly concept would not be appropriate for the city centre.
The licensing department at Fraser Brown successfully argued that there were exceptional circumstances in this case and that there would be no detrimental impact if the application was granted.
Walaiti Rathore, from Fraser Brown, Walaiti said “A case like this is very challenging where the objection is from the police because the council’s cumulative impact policy was introduced on the basis of evidence provided by the police.
“However, this application shows that if you are able to present a justifiable case then the policy allows the licensing panel to be flexible even where there is an objection from the police. The key factors in this application were that the proposals would substantially enhance and improve the premises on Thurland Street. It would create a venue which is completely different from the previous style of operation and would provide facilities which are not widely available in the city centre. The ground floor will include extensive seating and a substantial food offering within a family friendly atmosphere. The first floor will operate as a function suite with enhanced food provision.
“We have now been involved in several applications where the licensing panel have demonstrated that they are prepared to consider each case on its own merits and when justified to depart from their own policy even though such situations are usually rare, particularly where the police raise objections as in this case.”
In approving the changes to the licence the council also agreed to remove conditions that the premises operate a and install a club scan system and use metal detectors to scan customers on entry; that there should be no admission after 2am on Fridays and Saturdays; at any time there should only be 20 people allowed to leave the premises for the purpose of smoking; that children under 16 are not permitted after 7pm and that a coffee machine be provided for hot drinks.
The venue is now undergoing a refurbishment. It will be operated by Staplecross, which has previously run venues on behalf of administrators.