Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Historic Street Won't Get Late-Night Venue

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Historic Street Won't Get Late-Night Venue

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

LEISURE bosses have been rebuked in their attempts to gain a 4am licence for a new bar opposite Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Last week we revealed how the playhouse feared that, if the 1,045 capacity Harry's Bar and 750 space Baruba Bay beneath it were allowed to open well into the early hours, it could see the city's Grey Street turned into a second Bigg Market, full of drunken disorder.

And now Newcastle City Council's licensing committee have agreed and rejected the plans on the grounds of public safety and public nuisance.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, speaking in his capacity as a councillor for Westgate ward, said: "I welcome the decision of the licensing committee.

"It is very important that any developments in Grey Street do not conflict with the licensing objectives, and continue to improve the quality of the night time economy for residents and visitors."

Fellow Westgate ward councillor Geoff O'Brien said he was surprised that the companies behind the proposals had not worked more closely with the council - and found out earlier that an application for such a late license, for such a large venue, was likely to be rejected in an area where the cumulative impact of late night drinking is such an issue.

"It is well known in the city centre we are at saturation point in terms of licensed premises, and ideally we'd want to try and reign things in a bit," he said.

"Allowing another big bar is not really the way we should go.

"I'm surprised the organisation didn't have more of a chat with officers about the times they might more probably get.

"Another vertical drinking establishment is not what we need in the centre of town - you have to respect the fact that people live in the city centre and it would be a bit difficult to encourage more people to move in if we did nothing. …

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