Published on May 17th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Hotel loses application for 24-hour drinking licence
A WHITLEY Bay hotel has failed in its bid to secure a 24-hour drinking licence.
The application for a premises licence at the Waverley Hotel in South Parade is the first to be rejected since North Tyneside Council’s cumulative impact policy came into force in March.
The policy, which addresses concerns over increased alcohol-related disorder, presumes that applications for new premises licences that are likely to add to the existing cumulative impact will normally be refused.
And the decision was a victory for Northumbria Police who asked for the application to be rejected in its entirety because, said the town’s neighbourhood inspector Jim Gray, the impact of another late bar in South Parade could not be mitigated by licence conditions.
Applicant James Richardson, a director of Waverley Leasing Ltd, did not attend the licensing hearing at North Tyneside Council’s Cobalt Business Park headquarters in North Shields on Tuesday.
The sub-committee, chaired by Coun Les Birkenfield, decided to go ahead in Mr Richardson’s absence after attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.
The application was to serve alcohol to residents of the hotel’s six bedrooms 24 hours a day and to members of the public from 9am until 3am, both seven days a week.
Entertainment, including films, recorded music and dancing, was also part of the proposals.
One of Insp Gray’s concerns surrounded the premises not being aimed at families, providing accommodation and alcohol with no food served any time of the day, although technically there is no legal requirement for a hotel to provide food.
At the hearing he said: “We would certainly recommend that the application is rejected in its entirety.
“There is no imagination to it as far as what it intends to do. There is no provision for food.
“The vision of Mr Richardson is six rooms and a bar. Six rooms, no food, no family aspect to it.
“Simply getting people in to drink 24 hours a day is fraught with danger. Notwithstanding the cumulative impact policy we would be challenging its suitability as it is.”
He added: “The night time economy in Whitley Bay has reached saturation point.
“It does impact considerably on the local community and it impacts significantly on the policing in that area, and that has an impact across the borough.
“I don’t see that changing any time soon and this application will simply aggravate that.
“It is a lack of vision that it has in terms of adding value to the area, and my point of view is that it will add no value to the area.”
North Tyneside Council’s environmental health team also had concerns about potential noise problems and public access to the bar.
After the hearing, Mayor Linda Arkley said: “I want Whitley Bay to be known as a family-friendly seaside town, and tackling drink fuelled anti-social behaviour plays a major role in that.
“North Tyneside Council works closely with Northumbria Police in dealing with the problem of alcohol-related crime and disorder.
“I’m pleased the policy is now helping our licensing committee make decisions that aim to have a positive effect on the town.”
Source : newsguardian.co.uk