A Leamington bar has been refused in its attempt to have its opening hours extended to 6am on every day of the week.
Saint Bar licensee Ulief Burton’s application went before a Warwick District Council licensing panel at Leamington town hall today (Tuesday).
The Warwick Street bar is currently licensed to be open, serve alcohol and play music until 1am from Monday to Wednesday, 2am from Thursday to Saturday and midnight on Sundays and Warwickshire Police - represented by town centre sergeant Paul Calver - had fully objected to the application, requesting that the existing licence remains the same.
Sgt Calver said: “The location and venue have been demonstrated as hotspot and high incident locations and as such any increase in hours would add to that risk.
“The venue already has numerous conditions on it to promote the prevention of crime and disorder and there are no further conditions that could be considered at this time to reduce that risk.”
Warwickshire Police took the bar to a licensing review in March 2012 due to ‘the number of incidents, disorder, bad practices and lack of management’.
The changes made as a result of the review were appealed against by the venue and the present licence was agreed and ratified at magistrates court.
Sgt Calver said that while the venue had demonstrated a will to work with the police it could not be forgotten that regardless of how well the premises was run in regard to management and security there would still be an increase in incidents and disorcer caused by extended hours.
Others to object included council environmental health officer Mike Jenkins, who raised concerns about an increase in noise disturbance to people living nearby, caused particularly by groups smoking and ‘partying’ outside the venue.
District councillor and Augusta Place resident Bill Gifford (Lib, Leamington Milverton) said:
“ I would argue that this application will not make things better I would argue that it would make things worse.”
Ian Besant,the solicitor representing the bar, said there were ‘comprehensive’ conditions preventing crime and disorder and public nuisance at the venue which included its membership of the PubWatch scheme, the use of CCTV, a sound limiter and the ID scanning system.
He said the current licence meant that there is a mass exodus of patrons spilling out onto the street at the same as when other bars in the area close and that the later opening hours would prevent this.
He said: “Instead of having this exodus you would instead have a flow of people going out of the venue.”
Referring to a police report, Mr Besant said there had only been two incidents involving violence or disorder at the bar this calendar year and that any incidents of this nature over the past 12 months - of which there were 12 - had been dealt with appropriately by door staff.