Objections block bar’s plan to stay open later

Aspire Bar at Front Street, Tynemouth.
Aspire Bar at Front Street, Tynemouth.

A TYNEMOUTH pub has been refused permission to stay open until 2am after objections from the police and residents.

Bosses at Aspire, in The Arcade, Front Street, had applied to North Tyneside Council to extend the opening hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

But after objections were raised by Northumbria Police and people living in the vicinity, the licensing committee rejected the application.

Cameron’s Brewery, owners of the bar, had wanted to sell alcohol from 11am to 2am over the three days instead of until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and 12am on Sundays.

Speaking at the hearing, Inspector Geoff Cross, of North Shields neighbourhood policing team, said the extension would have a “significant and detrimental impact” for themselves, residents and the community due to a potential increase in crime and anti-social behaviour.

He said there had been an increase in alcohol-related violence and disorder in Tynemouth on a Friday and Saturday night, although this could not be attributed to Aspire.

“We feel the extension requested would draw that further into the early hours of the morning,” added Insp Cross.

“We don’t know if Tynemouth is falling in line with Whitley Bay. We think the times Aspire currently have is more than sufficient.”

Richard Giles, vice-chairman of Tynemouth Village Association, said the application was “unnecessary” and “inappropriate” with many residents suffering from the affects of the current drinking hours in the village.

“It’s in the heart of a conservation area, the village is seen as the jewel in the crown of North Tyneside,” he added.

“The proposals, if granted, would increase the pressure on existing licensees to maintain a level playing field and extend their hours, making us similar to Whitley Bay.”

But Richard Arnot, representing Aspire, dismissed police figures of crime and disorder, saying there had only been three crimes in Front Street after 11pm over six months last year, with none attributed to the bar.

He said: “The police have always expressed a view that Aspire is a well run establishment with very few incidents.

“We don’t want to be like Whitley Bay, we have a different establishment.

“The reason we would like to stay open is it’s what our customers want.”

Mr Arnot added that similar concerns about late licences had been raised in 2005 when the new Licensing Act came into force, but those never materialised and that would be the case here, especially as they had been open to 2am on some days over the festive period without any problems.

And bosses at Aspire offered a condition that if the extension was approved, no one would be allowed in after 1am.

However, committee members – who took a site visit during the hearing to see Front Street and Aspire – rejected the application, saying no conditions could alleviate the concerns.

After the hearing, Insp Cross said the police were pleased the application was refused.

He added: “Licensed premises need to be aware of the impact their business can have on the wider local community, and while a vibrant night-time economy is important to Tynemouth, so are the needs of residents and the police in keeping the community a safe place.”