Town pubs' bid for music licences

By Dave GooderhamRESIDENTS of a historic market town are preparing for a fresh fight against two pubs that have applied for public entertainment licencesThe Elephant and Castle and the Queen's Head pubs in Bury St Edmunds have lodged applications for the licences, but face opposition from concerned residents.

By Dave Gooderham

RESIDENTS of a historic market town are preparing for a fresh fight against two pubs that have applied for public entertainment licences

The Elephant and Castle and the Queen's Head pubs in Bury St Edmunds have lodged applications for the licences, but face opposition from concerned residents.

A number of letters and a petition has been handed into St Edmundsbury Borough Council objecting to both applications, which are due to be discussed by its licensing and regulatory sub-committee on Thursday.


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The Queen's Head, in the town's historic Churchgate Street, has applied to the council for a public entertainment licence from 11am to midnight on Sundays to Thursdays and from 11am to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

But residents, who have already fought plans for a blues bar and takeaway pizza outlet in their street, have bombarded the council with letters of protest and have had their concerns backed by Suffolk police.

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A spokesman for the police said: "Due to the location of these premises, it is likely to cause problems within the residential community and a potential increase in criminal damage and public order offences."

In one of the many letters to the council against the application, resident John Corbett said approving the application would be the "last straw" for many residents.

Mr Corbett, secretary of the Churchgate Area Association, added: "In coming to live in this part of the historic core, we thought we were realistic in anticipating a certain degree of noise and disturbance.

"But the existing impacts are only just bearable and any addition would make it unacceptable. Live entertainment at the pub will further adversely affect the quality of our environment.

"We already have to face the prospect of a blues and jazz club directly opposite us and an additional entertainment site nearby would be the last straw for us."

A spokesman for Bury Town Council said: "We would object on the grounds that this will cause increased noise and nuisance to residents from extended hours of operation."

Bosses at the Elephant and Castle pub in Hospital Road want a public entertainment licence between the hours of 7pm and 11pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and between 2pm and 10.30pm on Sundays.

But borough councillors Mike Ames and Paul Farmer, whose wards cover the pub, said residents had organised a petition fighting the application, which they believed would disturb the peace of a residential area largely populated by elderly people and young families.

The pub's application has also been met with concerns from the council's environmental health services, who believed any amplified music and singing would be heard by neighbouring properties.

They said the pub would have to ensure all doors and windows were kept closed and only speakers in the bar area used.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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