Heysham pub music licence granted

Royal Hotel, Heysham.
Royal Hotel, Heysham.
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Controversial plans to extend the hours when live music can be played at a Heysham pub have been granted.

The Royal in Heysham village wanted to extend its licence for music indoors and outdoors until 1am seven days a week.

Residents protested against the plans saying they will cause a public nuisance.

A resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Thwaites claim that noise nuisance will be avoided by its appropriately trained staff but, in my opinion, it is impossible to play outside music at a volume to entertain guests without causing a nuisance to local residents.”

At the meeting of the Licensing Act sub-committee, local resident Jonathan King who lives on Main Street, said: “I can hear the cash register go with windows and doors closed. We are talking about a residential area particularly susceptible to noise and disturbance. The pub is not isolated so the potential for disturbance is extreme.”

Brian Street, another local resident, said at the meeting: “We have never had music late so there have been no complaints because there has been no reason to. I’ve got no objections to functions, what I don’t want is it to carry on with music outside and inside until 11pm. We accept the business has to be a business but we also have to live there.”

The application for a variation to the pub’s premises licence was by Thwaites, owners of the Royal.

Malcolm Ireland, representing Daniel Thwaites Brewery, spoke at the licensing meeting and said: “Live music is very much an ancillary part of the business it is not the main stay of the operation. The objections are based on the fear and speculation that we will use it when in reality we are changing very little.”

He also said: “Thwaites spend a lot of time to make sure premises are run successfully. It’s not normal to be opposed to local residents.

“We acquired the site in October 2015. It is a listed building that has been ignored for a long time and is in need of investment. What we are doing is taking an eyesore and investing in it to turn it into something far better. We are investing over £2.2m on this site. We are expanding the kitchen and will have 11 guest bedrooms.” Carolyn Matthews, area business manager for Thwaites, said: “The pub will offer quality and our customer base will be those aged 25 plus. We will have quality food on offer, lots of local produce, high quality drinks, cask ales and quality wines. We still want the local community to enjoy our ales and food. We want to attract local businessmen to stay in the rooms and we hope to bring new trade to the village. Obviously we want to cater for the walkers and visitors to the area. We will target everybody.”

The Licensing Act sub-committee noted the objections from people mainly regarding the potential impact of extending the hours in what is a residential area. The concerns were that this may lead to an increase in noise nuisance and alcohol-fuelled disruptive behaviour.

The sub-committee said there was no evidence that the application would lead to such problems and agreed for the licence to be varied to include music indoors and outdoors until 1am seven days a week.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said after the hearing: “I’m disappointed of course. It’s up to Thwaites to manage this appropriately. In the event that this is unsatisfactory for residents the only course of action would be an application to review the licence.”