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Bingley pub hopes to convert toilets into serving area but neighbours object
A businessman wants to turn outside toilets at one of his pubs into a bar area to meet customer demand, but objectors living nearby say the idea is “entirely inappropriate”.
The Glen Hotel owner Neil Pickles said punters have complained during the summer that they cannot access the pub’s bar at busy times and so, through Punch Taverns, applied to Bradford Council for planning permission to convert toilets into a bar area, to be opened at busy times.
Punch Taverns has also applied to allow under 18s to stay in the Gilstead pub until 10pm, instead of 8pm as its current licence allows. That application will be decided by Bradford District Licensing Panel on Friday, along with a licensing decision on extending the alcohol sales area outside.
The planning application for the physical changes to the building is currently being considered by the Council, with a decision on the work, estimated to cost £15,000, expected by the end of the month.
Arthur Smith, of Bracken Park, Bingley, is worried about a loss of privacy, nuisance noise, fumes, dirt and disturbance. He said events held over the summer by the pub on its bowling green had led to “an unacceptable level of noise at times”. He thinks that would be exacerbated and “not acceptable in a purely residential area”.
Another objector, who asked not to be named, said the residential area surrounding the pub had been “blighted” over the summer by noise.
“Should an outside bar be allowed then I very much fear that the noise levels will increase even further and go on for longer periods.”
But Mr Pickles, whose company Pickles Business Management Ltd owns five pubs, said the outside bar would not attract more people to the pub, it would simply be opened when the outside bar area was busy to save people having to walk through the pub’s conservatory to get a drink.
He said licensing officers had visited the pub and been happy with the explanation of what was planned.
“We do everything by the book,” he said, adding that events held over the summer had been properly licensed.
“Events have taken place and we’ve had no objections and environmental health say they’ve had no complaints.”
He said there had been an issue of the last day of the school term with excited children, but that had immediately been dealt with by the pub’s manager following one complaint.
Mr Pickles took over the pub in January and spent £300,000 on a refurbishment this year.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to it. We’ve got MPs wanting to come and visit and the local community have been tremendous and everybody’s loved it and been enjoying it,” he added.
“We don’t have Sky TV because we don’t want to attract that type of customer. It’s not a rowdy pub.”
A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: “It is always our priority that our pubs provide safe and welcoming environments for responsible adults to enjoy good drink, food and entertainment.”
- Friday’s licensing meeting is at 10am at City Hall, Bradford.
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