Forest Heath grant licence for Newmarket High Street restaurant

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Councillors have approved a late-night drinks’ licence for a new High Street restaurant, despite objections from the police and their own licensing team.

Soham-based businessman Jack Shorney made the licence application for the former Thing-Me-Bobs premises where he said he planned to open a restaurant.

He asked for a licence from 9am-1am every day but Forest Heath’s licensing sub committee agreed to midnight Monday to Thursday and 11pm on Sunday, with 1am only granted for Friday and Saturday.

Concerns had been expressed by representatives of Newmarket’s night-time economy that Mr Shorney was planning to open a nightclub on the premises and Max Bacon, licensing officer for Suffolk Police, said he was still waiting for ‘clarification as to the intended use of the premises’ which had not been received.

Mr Shorney assured the committee he had no interest in making it into a nightclub.

“The amount of money that we have invested in this property it would go against any logic to then rip this out and then turn this into a bar,” he said.

The committee also ruled that no customers would be admitted after 11pm who had not booked a table.

A change of use application for the premises has yet to be determined.