Licence threat removed

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THE future of a popular nightspot looks to have been secured after bar owners agreed to a raft of new conditions on its licence.

Cleveland Police had called for a review of the premises licence at Rockies, in Church Street, Hartlepool, after a number of incidents of crime and disorder plus concerns over a “lack of co-operation” from the licence holder Alison Shirvani in recent months.

The venue, which is in the heart of Hartlepool’s nightlife, was facing an uncertain future and could have had its premises licence revoked by councillors.

But before a meeting next week, bosses have agreed a 2am closing time, rather than 3am.

Other conditions including using a CCTV system and introducing a Challenge 21 policy have also been agreed ahead of Hartlepool Borough Council licensing act sub-committee’s meeting next week.

Rockies’ current licence allows them to sell alcohol and play live and recorded music between 10am and 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, and between 10am and 2am Thursday to Sunday.

Before Cleveland Police called for a review the venue had a licence to sell alcohol until 3am.

A report to the meeting said: “Cleveland Police has requested a review of the premises licence on the grounds that there has been a general lack of co-operation from the licence holder, Alison Shirvani, and that there has been a number of incidents of crime and disorder at the premises.

“The application for review has been advertised in the prescribed manner and no additional representations have been received.

“Following the application for review the licence holder has formally amended the licence by reducing the trading hours from 3am to 2am and by adding further conditions to the licence including the use of a CCTV system, the employment of door supervisors and the introduction of a Challenge 21 system to prevent the sale of alcohol to children.”

Miss Shirvani was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Mail.

Before the new conditions were agreed, councillors could have chosen to either revoke the licence, take no action or modify the conditions after hearing evidence from both the licence holder and representatives from Cleveland Police.

The licensing act sub-committee will meet on Monday, April 18, at 10am, at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.

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