Drinkers ‘at risk’ if hours are extended
Drinkers at Newmarket’s Unique bar could be at risk if its drinking times are extended, police have warned.
The bar in Sun Lane has asked to extend its opening hours, allowing it to sell booze until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays and until 3am on Thursdays and Sundays.
Inspector Rebecca Kidd-Stanton, Suffolk Police’s licensing inspector, said: “It is strongly believed that the extra hours will cause an additional strain on the local infrastructure at the terminal time, thus creating a greater than normal friction between both intoxicated and sober members of the public creating avoidable crime and disorder.
“It is the constabulary’s opinion that there is enough crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour attributable to the premises to raise sufficient concern that to extend the alcohol operating hours will increase the levels of crime and expose the public at the premises to increased risk.”
Members of Newmarket Town Council have also objected to the bar’s plans, although the authority had not even been made aware of the application until contacted by the Journal shortly before its meeting on Monday.
Councillors agreed the application was in breach of the district council’s own cumulative impact policy which was introduced in a bid to curb violence and anti-social behaviour in the town centre caused by late-night drinking.
Residents David and Beveley Morley have also objected to the application made on behalf of the bar by Punch Taverns.
They said their objection was on the grounds of “ongoing noise disturbance”.
“A similar application was rejected in January 2012,” they said. “From our perspective nothing has changed for the better. Specifically we are still often disturbed by the background noise from the music being played at Unique,” they said.
Solicitors acting on behalf of Punch Taverns have suggested extra conditions to curb noise including a ban on emptying the glass bottle bins between 11pm and 7am and no entry or exit from the front door after 1am.
The application will be considered by members of Forest Heath District Council’s Licensing Act 2003 sub committee on Monday but they were warned by Insp Kidd-Stanton that if they allowed extra hours there was “every likelihood they will have an adverse effect on the authority’s own licensing objectives”.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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