Village pub in a late-night victory
A PUB in Ashwell has been granted permission to stay open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays – despite objections from residents. The Bushel and Strike, in Mill Street, will also remain open until 11.30pm Sundays to Thursdays and will be allowed to have l
A PUB in Ashwell has been granted permission to stay open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays - despite objections from residents.
The Bushel and Strike, in Mill Street, will also remain open until 11.30pm Sundays to Thursdays and will be allowed to have live music on Fridays and Saturdays until 12.30am, and 11pm Sundays to Thursdays.
However, customers are prohibited to enter the premises after 11pm.
Drinking is not permitted in the garden after 11.30pm and noise will be monitored at neighbouring residential properties every half-hour when entertainment is in progress.
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The new opening hours were given the go-ahead after a meeting of North Herts District Council's licensing and appeals committee.
It came to the decision because it recognised that there was noise nuisance being caused to nearby residents by people leaving the premises.
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Speaking after the meeting, landlord Mark Stier said: "I am quite surprised we can increase our opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays and play music.
"I don't think the new licence will benefit us a lot because we applied for extra hours during the week to look after our food trade, but these haven't been extended. It will give us a little bit more flexibility but it has also put some harsh restrictions on us."
At a meeting on Monday, 11 residents objected to the change of hours because of concerns about noise.
Brian Richards, of Gate House, Ashwell, said: "We have had a lot of disturbance. On a number of occasions it's difficult to go to bed and get a good night's sleep because of the noise coming from the restaurant where music is played.
"We're not out to spoil the pub or entertainment, but when drinking goes on until after late we get the problem of people shouting and swearing and cars accelerating.
"I have good insulation in my house and even with the windows closed we can still here music and feel the vibrations."
Felix East, of Wolverley House, Ashwell, told the committee: "We know everyone has a right to make a living, but if Mr Stier chooses to make it by selling alcohol, he should be responsible for what his customers do after drinking the alcohol.
"I live in sheltered housing 50 yards away and we have had to put up with a lot.
"Everybody within 150 yards of the pub should be free from paying Council Tax or just have to pay half if the decision goes through because it's disgusting to allow it to happen.
"We can't get to sleep and that makes our blood pressure go up."
After listening to the residents' comments, Mr Stier said: "I have taken the comments seriously and have already started to make changes.
"We have stopped doing regular music. But the restaurant is used as a function room so having the ability to play music helps us secure bookings.
"The customers we get on a busy night are all local people and known to me, and I have made sure I have got to know those customers and, where possible, have had discussions with them.