Ex-rugby player in wrangle over bar

POLICE are leading the objections to an attempt by a former Newcastle Falcons rugby player to open his Northumberland pub until 3am every night.

POLICE are leading the objections to an attempt by a former Newcastle Falcons rugby player to open his Northumberland pub until 3am every night.

The Falcon’s Rest in Alnwick town centre has applied to vary its licence for live and recorded music, and sale of alcohol – which would be allowed 24 hours a day for people living on the premises, their guests and employees.

The Clayport Street pub, owned by former Falcons player Paul Van-Zandvliet, is currently allowed to play music until 1am on Thursdays, 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and midnight on Sundays, subject to conditions.

It is permitted to sell alcohol no later than 11pm, and midnight on New Year’s Eve.

The application to vary the licence has brought objections from Northumbria Police, Alnwick District Council’s environmental health department and the public.

Ten letters of objection have been submitted, including one from a local councillor co-signed by seven neighbours, a property landlord, the owner of a bed and breakfast and a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Police say the premises has been “problematic” and are objecting to the hours proposed. They say the pub will be the only establishment in Alnwick to open beyond 2am, as a result of which drinkers from other nightspots will congregate there.

Officers also have fears over the pub’s proposed 24-hour opening for people living there and their guests, as well as employees.

Local people are concerned the late opening will mean young people drinking more and then walking past their properties later at night, making noise and indulging in antisocial behaviour.

Objector Gillian Cloughton, of Wesley Mews, said: “We have had previous experience of late-night early-morning disturbance from people shouting and arguing, engaging in sexual activities as well as the extremely unpleasant results of toilet activities in the close vicinity of our home. Whilst we appreciate the need for provision of entertainment in the town, we would appeal for consideration for the quality of life for those residents of Alnwick who do not want to spend every night of the week wondering whether they will be disturbed and distressed by unacceptable noise and behaviour from customers departing from late-night venues.”

Mr Van-Zandvliet last night said “people are entitled to their opinion” and that the matter would be sorted out by the council.

The authority’s licensing sub- committee will determine the application at a hearing in its Alnwick chamber on January 8.

 

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