Alcohol licence is given to micropub next to nursery

The proposed site for a micropub at Monkseaton Metro Station.
The proposed site for a micropub at Monkseaton Metro Station.

A micropub is set to open next month after being granted an alcohol licence, despite concerns of its proximity to a nursery.

Officials behind the Left Luggage Room are raising a glass after North Tyneside Council’s licensing committee approved their application at a meeting on Tuesday.

Planning permission had already been granted last month to turn the empty space in Monkseaton Metro Station into a micropub.

Applicants Andrew Findlay and Steven Buckley had applied to sell alcohol from noon to 11pm every day.

However, objections had been made as the proposed venue is next to Children’s Choice Nursery, while there were concerns it could increase incidents of anti-social behaviour on the Metro system.

Speaking at the committee, Whitley Bay ward councillor John O’Shea said: “It is my contention that this licensed premises so near the nursery could potentially give harm to the children attending.

“There will also be people outside the pub smoking on the main footpath to the nursery, where children will be walking.”

Northumbria Police also objected to the application over fears it could increase crime and disorder, drawing up 10 recommendations that if were accepted would see them drop their objection.

Among them were calls for a CCTV system to be installed, training for staff, a Challenge 25 policy, and a 4ft high fence or barrier between the pub and station.

Vicki Gilbert, of the North Tyneside Public Transport Users Group, said they had concerns that having a pub in the station would increase drunken behaviour on the Metro system.

She said: “We think there are plenty of pubs nearby. It’s about anti-social behaviour on the Metro and Metro station and we think this will encourage it.”

Mr Findlay, who said they accepted the police’s recommendations, said: “We’re going to be very small scale. We aim to be responsible retailer of alcohol and off licence.

“The concept is no music, no gambling machines. Were talking largely real ale, few gins and a bit of wine.

“It’s a different concept that is getting traction for a peaceful place out.”

He added that following discussions with the nearby nursery, they had agreed to put in additional sound buffering and to move some of the chairs away from the nursery’s play area.

Speaking after the committee, Mr Findlay said: “We’re very happy with the decision. We can move forward and start work on it.

“The target is getting open mid to late August.”

He added: “It was nice to meet with the nursery. They showed us around their venue and we took them around ours.”