Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Late hours for UK pubs

The "Robin Hood" pub a few doors down from my house has applied to extend their opening hours until early in the morning. My neighbours and I are objecting to this, and got ourselves in the local paper (the South Wales Echo) yesterday:

"A bid by Charlotte Church's parents to open their pub for longer has sparked outrage among local residents.

The singer's mum Maria and step-dad James, who own 50 per cent of the Robin Hood pub in Pontcanna, have sent an application into Cardiff council to extend its opening hours.

The couple's bid has provoked anger among residents living in Severn Grove who fear longer opening hours.

More than 30 residents gathered outside the pub yesterday to protest against the Churches' proposals, which are due to be considered by Cardiff council's licensing sub-committee tomorrow.

However, landlord Paul Careless, who owns the other 50 per cent of the pub, tried to calm residents down by telling them the application was an 'administrative miscalculation'.

Residents have collected a petition of more than 100 signatures and sent more than 50 objection letters to the council.

Rupert Rawnsley, 32, who has two children, Nathaniel, three months, and Alex, three, and lives four doors away from the pub, said: 'We think the extension of its opening hours is excessive.

'We don't want our children growing up next door to a nightclub.'

Janice Partridge, 49, who lives next door to the pub with her 83-year old mother Eileen Rouillon, said: 'Sometimes I can hear the beats of music from the pub through my wall, which I think will get worse if it stays open for longer.'

Mr Careless claimed the application to the council was an 'administrative miscalculation' made without legal advice.

He said the Churches and himself decided to change their application after a meeting with residents at the pub two weeks ago.

But the original application had already been sent to the council before the meeting.

He said: 'We could've gone for a 24-hour licence under the new laws but we didn't.

'I'm surprised by the level of anger among residents.

'The whole situation has got way out of hand.

'I think tomorrow's licensing meeting is going to be very difficult but if our application is turned down, I will appeal.'"

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