Bar bid prompts concern

A BID to allow a Colchester bar to open from 10am on Sundays is being opposed by a religious group which fears noise will disrupt its prayer meeting.

By Sharon Asplin

By Sharon Asplin

A BID to allow a Colchester bar to open from 10am on Sundays is being opposed by a religious group which fears noise will disrupt its prayer meeting.

Edward's bar in Head Street already has gained its licence to operate from this time but the building also needs to have planning permission in place before it can activate the new hours.


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When it meets on Thursday, Colchester Borough Council's planning committee is expected to approve permission for it to operate from 10am until 12.30am on Sundays to Wednesdays, 10am to 1.30am on Thursdays and 10am to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

However, the Society of Friends, more commonly known as the Quakers, meets at the Friends' Meeting House in Church Street at the back of the bar every Sunday morning and members fear earlier opening hours will create more noise.

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In a report to the committee, the Quakers claim this could intrude on their hour of complete silence from 9.30am - breaking the joint concentration of worshippers in their “deep corporate communion of the spirit with God” - and as well as disturb the quiet spoken ministry in the second hour.

The Quakers are also concerned about the increasing late-night anti-social behaviour problems across the town centre as a whole, citing particular problems with increasing numbers of people urinating and vomiting in the streets.

A spokeswoman for Edward's said the premises already had a licence to trade until 3am and the company was applying for existing planning restrictions to be brought in line with permitted licensing hours.

She said: “Edward's respects its community and has held numerous meetings with local residents, including the local Quaker group, to agree ways in which we can be a good neighbour.

“A new manager has recently been appointed who has already met with local residents. We sincerely hope that this relationship continues and that residents raise any concerns with us directly.”

The company has also signed an agreement to restrict opening the bar's rear doors during unsociable hours.

sharon.asplin@eadt.co.uk

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