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‘No plans for pub to become nightclub’
OWNERS of a Knutsford pub in the heart of a residential area say they have no plans to turn it into a nightclub after homeowners raised concerns over proposals to serve booze until 2am.
Residents living close to the Legh Arms on Brook Street are opposing plans for its owners to apply for a licence application to open the pub into the early hours not only at the weekend but during the week as well.
The licence application states the pub company wants to sell alcohol from 8am until 1am on Sunday to Thursday then at the weekend from 8am until 2am.
But the pub, owned by Chelford-based Alehouse Collection, said it had no plans to turn the pub into a nightclub or bar – instead it wanted to ‘modernise’ what the site could offer.
At the planning and licensing committee meeting of Knutsford Town Council on Monday, September 3, residents told councillors the application was not suitable for a pub in the middle of a residential – and conservation – area.
David Bentley, speaking on behalf of a group of residents at the meeting, said he was concerned about noise caused by loud music.
“The Legh Arms has been in existence for 120 years and residents have lived alongside it and had no problems with the pub,” he said.
“We are concerned about music noise, and if this licence is granted this will be one place in the town where people can come for late-night drinking. People tend to make noise when they are drinking and that will be at 1am and 2am.”
Mr Bentley said he was concerned about the impact the pub having a late-night licence would have on rubbish and glass bottles being strewn around the site.
Tim Coulson, director of operations for the Alehouse Collection, told the Guardian he was not invited to the meeting but wanted to allay residents’ fears.
“We’ve heard about a bit of opposition, but from our perspective we were only hoping to extend so we could host a few more events each year, like weddings,” he said.
“A few things seem to have been taken out of context, and we don’t want to turn it into a nightclub or bar – we’ve got a few ideas that we want to do to improve the pub. We still want it to be a community pub, we just want to broaden the horizons.”
At the meeting Clr Simon Hutchence said the application was unwarranted.
“If they want an occasional licence then they could do that, for New Year’s for example, but with the pub being in a residential area I would have concerns – it’s the wrong application in the wrong place,” he said.
Clr Vivien Davies said: “If this was in the town centre I may not even consider it and this is in a residential area. This is not appropriate and I don’t see how this can be even considered.”
The committee objected to the proposed licence and said it was ‘inappropriate’. It will go before Cheshire East’s licensing board later this month.
What do you think about the late night application? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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