Publican loses battle to extend opening hours

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

Time at the bar: a council will not grant extended opening hours after neighbours complained about noise
Time at the bar: a council will not grant extended opening hours after neighbours complained about noise

Related tags: Council

A council has rejected a publican’s application to extend a pub’s opening hours after neighbouring residents warned it would worsen the existing “nightmare of noise” and disruption.

The New Road Inn licensee Melanie Talbot applied to extend the hours from 12.30am to 1.30am on Friday and Saturday nights in the hope of making the business “more viable”.

However, after three neighbours objected, the application was unsuccessful.

Good track record

Talbot wrote on her application letter to Blackpool Council: “Having been operational now for almost five years, we are aware that this would give us an opportunity to make the business more viable.

“We have a good track record with both the police and licensing, having received good feedback from both.”

However, the neighbours provided first-hand accounts of how they had been suffering from various disturbances, with sleeplessness being a common consequence of noise and nuisance coming from in and around the boozer.

One of the objectors wrote in his initial objection letter: “We have lived at our address, overlooking the New Road Inn, for 25 years now and for the first 20 years, we have never had a need to complain.

“However, for the past five years it has been a nightmare of noise and disruption every week, sometime many times each week.”

A need to complain

Incidences of antisocial behaviour were also brought to attention including urination, fighting, shouting, swearing and damage to vehicles.

Pub designated premises supervisor Pierre Coulon suggested that in response to the complaints, he would devise a number measures to reduce potential noise nuisance.

One of the proposals included closing the windows of the premises on Elizabeth Street and locking the corner door adjoining Talbot Road and Elizabeth Street to reduce noise from the premises.

He also suggested that after a nearby phonebox had been removed, it reduced antisocial behaviour in the vicinity of the pub and claimed that customers were often not the cause of such behaviour.

Minimising future disruption

Two neighbours, who both attended the licensing meeting, appreciated the suggestions put forward by Coulon.

However, they questioned whether further noise and nuisance beyond the existing operating hours would be worth it for what they claimed would be a minimal financial boost to the business.

The panel praised Coulon’s enthusiasm and desire to work with residents to minimise any future disruption caused by the New Road Inn but the effects of antisocial behaviour caused by the premises currently gave cause for concern at both their frequency and nature.

As a result, panel members agreed that to extend the licensable hours would likely undermine the current licensing objectives.

Related topics: Licensing law

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