Entertainment licence granted for Roost Bar

Entertainment licence granted for Roost Bar

An annual indoor entertainments licence was granted by Causeway Coast and Glens Council to a Coleraine bar despite the concerns of several councillors that it would be ‘detrimental’ to the neighbouring residents.

The Roost Bar at Shuttle Hill in the town, had applied for a new entertainments licence for Monday to Sunday 11:30am to 02:00 hours, however after discussions with the PSNI, the licensee agreed to change the closing time to 1am.

The Environmental Services Committee had recommended the granting of the licence, however, when it came before full council for ratification, Alderman Mark Fielding spoke of his concerns, suggesting that closing time should be pulled back further to midnight.

The Causeway DEA councillor said: “When people contact you it is your duty to get their questions answered.

“I heard from council people today that this is not a renewal licence but indeed a new licence.

“When it came to Environmental Services the opening times were 11.30am to 2am and at that time the police did object and they objected because ‘These premises are situated at the heart of a residential area in Coleraine and to grant this application would have a detrimental effect on the local community and the residents living there’.

“The police and the proprietor made changes to 1am which is an improvement but given that this is a new entertainment licence per se,  I think the time could go back to 12 midnight to see how it goes.

“Given there are 32 houses close by I think the time should be looked at. I think an earlier time should be considered given there hasn’t been an entertainment licence before.”

Agreeing with Ald Fielding, Independent Councillor Stephanie Quigley raised her concerns saying: ‘We were told that council didn’t receive any complaints regarding the premises but myself, Councillor Anderson, some of the Coleraine DEA councillors and Councillor Fielding have done.

“This is a residential area with some elderly people living in it and Mayor, I don’t know if you are familiar with that area but they are literally yards across from where they live.

“One of them quoted that they tried the same things years ago but my father and Maurice Bradley objected to it.  These are people who have been living here for decades with their families. If we could go back and look at this.

“This doesn’t change the fact that there are residents there and many of them are elderly and none of them had seen it in the paper bar one.  There was only one resident who had seen it and informed other residents.

“It’s a tiny street and there are also families with young children living there. I think it will be detrimental for this area so could we go back and look at it again even to 12 o’clock.”

PUP councillor Russell Watton informed the virtual chamber that there had previously been a late licence at the premises.

“I thought to myself that 2 o’clock was too late for this area and even 1 o’clock,” he said. “I can tell you there was a late licence there for years because I was in it.

“I was listening to what Councillor Quigley was saying that just one resident was au fait with what was happening and that’s not good enough.

“I would be in support of looking at this again and getting round the residents in the area first to see what they say.

“It has changed hands a number of times but it’s been a long, long time since there was entertainment in it to that hour. I think it needs to go back to the Environmental Services Committee and I think we should have more interaction with local residents, all 32, not just one or two. There are also pensioners’ bungalows not that far away in Lambeth Way.”

DUP Alderman George Duddy stated that ‘everybody deserves a chance’ and there was no reason not to grant the licence.

He said: “I have spoken to the licensee, I’ve spoken to Mr McPeake (Director of Environmental Services) when this first came along. The police have no issues. When it first came along they had objections but when they were asked to substantiate the objections they didn’t have any.

“The licensee himself agreed with the licensing officer to go from 2 o’clock to 1 o’clock and yes it is in what I suppose you would call a residential area but let’s look at it, so are numerous other pubs and licensed premises.

“This is a new licencece but the family themselves have a long tradition in the licensed trade. They have a vast experience in the licensed trade and they are well advised and I’m sure given the initial objection from the PSNI it is something that could be monitored to see how things go. “

Suggesting changing the opening hours and bringing the application back to committee could be setting a precedent, Alderman Duddy said: “If we are going to look at this then we need to do the same with every other licence that comes forward no matter where it’s at or how long they have had it.

“To do one such as this we would be leaving ourselves open to challenge. Where is the evidence to suggest or where are the facts to substantiate this will cause a problem or that this has been causing problems over the last number of years – we don’t have any.

“Normally the procedure is, if there are no objections from the police, the fire brigade or ourselves they are accepted as is. It’s only when complaints are accepted and brought forward to this chamber that we look at them in the round and make a decision.

“It’s a new business, we are always talking about the economy and helping our local economy and what are we going to do, try and hamper someone who is trying to make a business.

“It should be left as is and the individual given the opportunity. It comes back again next year and if there are any issues we take a look at it then. Everyone is entitled to a chance.

The Director of Environmental Services, Aidan McPeake informed the chamber: “Any breach of conditions are taken on board for any future renewals and there is a mechanism that if there are breaches in between our officers have the ability through noise recordings etc to address any of the issues as well as the PSNI being involved.”

Ald Fielding made a proposal, seconded by Cllr Quigley, that the times of closing are reviewed with the matter brought to the next Environmental Services committee.

The proposal fell with 24 votes against, seven for and four abstentions and the indoor entertainment licence for the Roost Bar was granted.

Gillian Anderson - Local Democracy Reporter

Written by Gillian Anderson - Local Democracy Reporter

Local Democracy Reporter covering Causeway Coast & Glens and Derry City & Strabane
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