Town bar’s extended hours bid rejected
A Newmarket bar’s bid to extend its opening hours at the weekends and during the week has been rejected by councillors.
Unique bar, in Sun Lane, applied to Forest Heath District Council’s licensing committee st stay open until 3.30am on Thursdays and Sundays and 4.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Punch Taverns-owned bar also applied to extend its “drinking-up time” to 3am on Thursdays and Sundays and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Both extensions were rejected by the committee, a decision that owner Julian Cunnington said was “unbelievable”.
But members did approve Unique’s application to vary its layout by turning a small store room into a bottle bar servery at the rear of the premises.
Andrew Evans, counsel for Punch Taverns, said the availability of cheap alcohol from supermarkets meant that people tended to visit Unique at later hours after drinking alcohol at home.
“Support needs to be given to good businesses such as this one,” he said.
Pc Gary Pinyoun, licensing officer for Suffolk Police, said officers had a very good relationship with Unique’s management, but added: “We have to ask ourselves, where do we draw the line?”
Representations from planning authorities and Environmental Health were withdrawn.
Teresa Holloway, member of the committee, said having thought about all the representations made at the meeting, the committee did not consider them “to be sufficient to show that the variation would not have an adverse impact on the crime and disorder and nuisance objectives”.
She added: “The extended hours will increase the numbers of individuals dispersing within the area of the policy at later times and therefore for longer periods.”
Unique applied to the district council for a similar extension in January, 2012, which was also rejected.
Mr Cunnington said he had not decided whether to appeal the decision.
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