Hartlepool’s Popworld given go-ahead to extend opening hours to 3am after Cleveland Police drop objections

Popworld, Victoria Road Hartlepool
Popworld, Victoria Road Hartlepool

Popworld bosses have been given the go-ahead to remain open an hour longer after police dropped their objections to the extension.

Police had objected to an application from Stonegate Pub Company, the organisation behind Popworld in Victoria Road, to extend hours it can play music and serve alcohol from 2am to 3am.

The application was also to allow them to remain open a further hour on certain holidays such as St Patrick’s Day, St George’s Day, Halloween, Bank Holiday weekends, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

However at a reconvened meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council Licensing Sub-Committee officers said police have dropped their objections providing Popworld were subject to a one-year trial period.

The hearing was previously adjourned for further talks between Popworld bosses and the police.

Ian Harrison, trading standards and licensing manager at the council, said: “We had initially received an objection from the police and because there was an objection, a sub-committee meeting was required.

“Police have withdrawn their objection on the basis a one-year trial would be applied to the licence.

“So Popworld will be given a licence to trade until 3am for one year. Then after one year it’s incumbent on them to apply to make a permanent arrangement.

“If having the extra hour has caused difficulties then that will be reflected in the police representation a year from now.

“If nobody is telling us by means of objection or representation that what’s been applied for is going to create a problem for one of the licensing objectives, then the council is required to grant that licence.”

Coun Mike Young, chair of the sub-committee, said he was surprised police withdrew their objections, but noted the year trial period is a good idea.

He said: “I must say the police themselves had some fairly stern objections and there was quite a lot of objections…so I am somewhat surprised they have withdrawn that.

“However I do accept that the one year trial period is probably a good conclusion to that and it’s a good kind of caveat to put in.”

Cleveland Police had initially objected to the extended opening hours due to concerns it would increase crime and disorder and harm public safety in the area.

A previously submitted written objection from PC Andy Thorpe said: “I am objecting on the grounds of crime and disorder, and public safety.

“Yates [as the site was previously known] has unfortunately suffered from sporadic incidents of violence over the past 12 months.

“We also still have a number of violent incidents reported between 2am and 4.30am in the area of Victoria Road and adjoining streets.”

The application from Stonegate stated it would provide a safe environment for people.

It said: “The applicant feels the extension of the terminal hours will ensure customers can stay in a well-managed, controlled and supervised environment for longer.

“Stonegate also operate 28 other premises under their Popworld branch which operate until 3am or later and are therefore exceptionally experienced in operating under these circumstances.”

The chain is renowned for championing 1990s cheese and noughties nostalgia and has been open since November, but the site was previously home to Yates.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service