Premier Inn granted a late alcohol licence
Premier Inn has been granted a licence for the sale of alcohol at its proposed new Berwick hotel despite concerns of anti-social behaviour.
The application by Whitbread Group, the parent company of Premier Inn, was approved at a Northumberland County Council licensing hearing held in Berwick on Monday.
The hearing had been triggered by a letter of objection from Quay Walls residents Michael Clancy and Trish Maerz.
They argued that the sale of alcohol to non-residents until 12.30am, with the bar closing at 1am, could cause public nuisance.
In a letter to the committee, they stated: ‘Members of the public will be leaving the premises on foot or by car and the accompanying noise may well be distrurbing to the local residents.’
They called on the licensing hours to be restricted to those adopted by most other licensed premises in the town.
However, Whitbread pointed out that there were no representations from Northumbria Police.
Tim Shield, acting on the firm’s behalf, said: “We are not a nightclub or a pub. We are a hotel with a proposed modest licensing facility.
“We don’t think it is going to be attractive to anyone who wants a late-night offer from a pub-type offer.”
He estimatedthe chances of disturbance to local residents as being ‘virtually zero’.
“We have a system in place which works extremely well across our whole estate,” he said. “It’s not a Beefeater or Brewers Fayre like at some of our hotels. It’s a much more modest concept.”
The vast majority of trade was expected to be provided by hotel residents, although the bar and restaurant area would be open to the public.
Licensing chairman, Cllr Ken Parry, said: “We will grant a licence because there is no strong evidence to suggest otherwise.”
Plans for the 60-bedroom hotel on the site of the former Playhouse Cinema on Sandgate were approved earlier this month.
The £5million development could create up to 25 new year-round jobs and support the local economy by attracting additional visitors to the town throughout the year.
Premier Inn is expected to start clearing the Sandgate site later this year and is targeting an opening date of mid-2017.
However, it will have no dedicated parking as the company feels there is sufficient in the vicinity, most notably the Bridge Street and Quayside car parks.
The company has also vowed to work with the Bridge Street Traders Association to mitigate any disruption during the construction phase.