Cardiff Council’s licensing sub-committee will meet this Friday to discuss three potentially controversial applications for permission to sell alcohol.
Details of the applications – for the Ali Baba Shop in Clifton Street, Rhymney Brewery on Albany Road, and the new Viva Brazil Restaurant at the Maldron Cardiff – are summarised below, and we’ll be reporting from the meeting on Friday morning.
Ali Baba, 100-102 Clifton Street, Adamsdown
The Ali Baba shop on Clifton Street has applied for permission to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises between 10am and 11pm Monday to Sunday. The shop says it will install CCTV, introduce an age verification policy, and work closely with local police to tackle crime and disorder, public nuisance and ensure public safety.
However, there are objections from a number of local residents who say there are enough shops and pubs in the area selling alcohol already.
One resident from Iron Street said the level of public nuisance caused by people visiting nearby chip shops and pizza parlours meant they were already afraid to leave their home after dark, and noise in the early hours of the morning was often an issue.
Another objection says there is already a problem with anti-social behaviour in the area, adding: “Irresponsible licensing promotes and attracts anti-social and dangerous behaviours, it also encourages long term unemployment. This licensing would drag down the hard work to regenerate Clifton Street and make it a safe family area.”
Others point out a new licence could worsen problems with litter and illegal parking.
The Andrew Buchan, 29 Albany Road, Roath
Rhymney Brewery will return to Cardiff’s licensing sub-committee for a second time on Friday with its application for a new real ale bar in the former Choices video store on Albany Road.
YourCardiff previously reported how the brewery had been given planning permission for its new venture but was refused an alcohol licence for the pub, after concerns from business and residents about the effect the new drinking venue would have on the local area.
But building work has already begun on the pub – to be called the Andrew Buchan – and Rhymney Brewery will try again on Friday to get permission to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises between 9am and 10.30pm seven days a week.
The latest application reiterates that the cask ale bar – selling the brewery’s own cask ales – will be aimed at the over 50s, with no alcopops or pool table. A meeting room on the first floor will be available for local community organisations and businesses.
But letters of objection raise concerns including anti-social behaviour, and the fact there are “numerous outlets for drink in the immediate vicinity”.
Others point out that people smoking outside the pub would block the busy pavement, the lack of parking in the area, and drunken behaviour now being witnessed in the Albany Road area in the day as well as during the evenings.
Sue Hayes, retail and area fundraising manager for Tenovus, which has a shop at 21 Albany Road, objects on behalf of the cancer charity because of alcohol related crime.
She said: “We question how the brewery’s case that it will be a place of controlled drinking matches its request to open at 9am to sell alcohol.”
“In our view, those who pay the price for early drinking hours are often not the premises which sold the alcohol, but those operating nearby. From experience, we anticipate an increase in shop-lifting and disorder in our store.”
She adds that there are already two other pubs within 100 yards of the Andrew Buchan – the Royal George and Varsity – and if the brewery is allowed to sell alcohol from its Albany Road venue, it should not be allowed to do so before 6pm.
Ward councillor Mary McGarry adds that although the new pub would be welcomed by some residents who do not like sharing their pubs with students and other young people, she is concerned that the pub could become a student pub at sometime in the future. She proposes a condition where the licence can only be in effect while the licensee is Rhymney Brewery Ltd.
There is one letter of support from a local resident, which says the real ale bar would be a “great addition” to the area.
Viva Brazil, Ground Floor of the Maldron Hotel, St Mary Street
Viva Brazil Cardiff Limited has applied for permission to sell alcohol at its new restaurant and bar in the Maldron Hotel between 10am and 2am, to provide regulated entertainment such as films, live music, and dance between 10am and 2am, and late night refreshment between 11pm and 2am.
South Wales Police have lodged an objection against the application because the proposed venue is within the St Mary Street saturation zone, and could add to the alcohol-related problems already experienced in the area, say the force.
If the committee does grant the application on Friday, police have asked for conditions including that 75% of the premises be laid out with tables and chairs for consuming food, and the outside area not be used beyond 11pm.