Butetown pub loses alcohol licence bid

March 23, 2012 No Comments »
Butetown pub loses alcohol licence bid

Proposals to extend an historic Butetown pub’s alcohol licence have been rejected by councillors after police and residents complained of noise and alleged drug use.

The White Hart pub, on James Street, Butetown, applied to extend its alcohol sales and live entertainment until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

But South Wales Police and neighbours complained that the Brains-owned pub was already a noise nuisance, with loud music played late at night and drunken revellers shouting in the street.

Claims were also made of punters using drugs outside the premises and a strong smell of marijuana – allegations dismissed by Brains and unsupported by police.

Councillors rejected extending the sale of alcohol by two-and-a-half hours on Fridays and two hours on Saturdays, and refused an extra 30 minutes’ drinking-up time every night.

But the licensing sub-committee members decided to grant an additional 30 minutes to the Friday opening hours of the pub, which has operated as The White Hart since 1861.

Police told the committee of one incident where a drunken man was arrested over racially abusing a taxi driver.

South Wales Police licensing officer Tony Bowley said: “We have got to consider the bigger picture and the residents. Operations of the nature that are proposed should really be centred at the city centre and harbour area of Cardiff Bay.”

About 10 households and Environmental Health also objected to the alcohol application, including complaints of loud music being played hours after the pub was due to close.

Brains offered to make adjustments to the pub to reduce the risk of noise and nuisance.

Solicitor Matthew Phipps, representing Brains, said: “For 24 hours a day, the main Cardiff police station is a spit away, so you know that it’s going to be pretty well supervised.”

Mr Phipps added that the application was a clear commercial decision, saying the pub has been “on its knees for a long, long time” within Brains’ city portfolio of 54 licensed premises.

But councillors advised that improvements should be made to the pub before re-applying for an alcohol licence extension.

Homeowner Paula Ronson said the pub’s punters regularly hurled bottles into her property, which she operates as a commercial car park for businesspeople.

Speaking after the decision, the mum of two said: “There is nothing else we can do. If they do the improvements, then hopefully that would improve things.”

Eric Howard, 50, who began managing the pub six months ago, said the decision was “a fair comment”.

The dad of one, of Butetown, said: “We just have to work on it and hopefully we will get what we want. It’s a long working process at the end of the day. We can’t expect to get everything at once, but hey, it’s a start.”

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