Council refuses hours bid

Councillors have refused to lift late night restrictions on a Newmarket town centre bar’s beer garden after hearing objections from neighbouring residents and a council officer.

Owners of the White Hart Hotel in the High Street wanted to be able to use the outside seating area until midnight on Friday and Saturday, an hour later than its licence currently allows.

But on Monday Forest Heath District Council’s Licensing Act 2003 sub-committee said the additional hour would cause a public disturbance.

The pub, that is open until at least 12.30am on weekdays and 2.30am at weekends, had made a last minute amendment to its application at the hearing having originally asked to lift all restrictions on the use of its outdoor areas.

The original application had received complaints from residents and from the council’s public health and housing officer Emma Grace, who told the hearing: “After 11pm the noise is much more significant. The background noise levels are reduced and the surrounding areas are quiet.”

Tim Shield, representing the pub’s general manager Dylan Thomas, said the pub had received no complaints in five years, including on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, when the beer garden had remained open until late.

“Five years of no complaints is the proof of the pudding,” he said.