Pub opening hours spark concern

THE landlady of a rural pub has moved to reassure villagers that her bid for later opening hours will not spoil the peace and tranquillity of the area.

THE landlady of a rural pub has moved to reassure villagers that her bid for later opening hours will not spoil the peace and tranquillity of the area.

Trudi Tuckwell has applied to Colchester Borough Council to open the Three Horseshoes pub in Church Lane, Fordham, until 1am on Friday, Saturdays and Bank Holidays and until midnight the rest of the week.

Last night she insisted the application did not herald blanket late opening but enabled the pub to be prepared to open late for special occasions such as wedding receptions or New Year parties.

However, villagers have expressed outrage at the proposals which they fear will result in late-night disturbances and an increase of traffic on quiet rural roads.

Ms Tuckwell said: “I am absolutely shattered when we are closing at 11pm so I can assure residents I have no intention of regularly opening even later.

“We are the only pub in the village and we want this to be a villagers' pub. We do not have lager louts here, we welcome OAPs and families and even the ramblers come here after their walks.

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“Since we have been here we have had a good response from the locals and I am concerned some of them could not talk to me so I could put the record straight.”

John Parker, her business partner and chairman of the Colchester Licensed Victuallers' Association, said that since the licensing laws had changed there was a lot of confusion across the area.

“Landlords will not be working until 1am seven days a week,” he said. “I know people who live near pubs are worried about what's going to happen but it will only be some Fridays or Saturdays when we intend to go on a bit later.”

The application also asks for a music licence but the pair stress they want to work with villagers so music will be played inside with windows closed and stop by 11pm. There will be no-one in the pub garden after 10pm.

David Cannon, a Colchester borough councillor and Fordham resident, said he and a number of other villagers, especially those living in nearby Fossetts Lane, had written to the council's licensing panel to formally object.

He said: “A village like Fordham cannot sustain a place like this. People are going to have to drive to it and the road system here is very poor.

“Late at night, villagers will be subjected to shouting and banging doors. I do not want to be a killjoy but these things do develop. When you go to Colchester on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night now you can see all the problems and Fordham would not have the same level of police coverage.

“This extension would be fine if people were considerate but they will be banging and swearing - why should we have to suffer that?”

The Three Horseshoes application comes days after a similar application was lodged by the Drury Arms in Layer Road, Colchester.

It wants to open until 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and until midnight on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If given the go-ahead, the changes would also allow live music and karaoke from Thursdays to Sundays. Colchester Police and local residents fear there will be an increase in disorder, noise and nuisance.

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