Hearing on bar’s future

COURT BATTLE: Shades
COURT BATTLE: Shades

THE future of a nighspot will be decided after a two-day court hearing.

Shades, in Church Street, Hartlepool, lost its premises licence in December after a series of violent fights and amid fears that the premises was disturbing residents.

The bar has stayed open since after owners, Wynyard Leisure immediately appealed the decision.

Its application was listed for mention at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court on Monday, when dates were fixed for a two-day hearing and a pre-hearing review.

The review was set for April 11 with the contested hearing starting on April 27, when town justices will decide whether the decision by Hartlepool Borough Council’s licensing act sub-committee was correct.

Tim Gilbert, from Wynyard Leisure, which also runs SKYY Lounge, Loons and Bar Paris in the town, said his firm is determined to keep the bar operating.

He added: “We have worked hard over recent months to change the image of Shades and we are looking forward to putting our points across during the hearing.

“Until that time, Shades will remain open as normal.”

The licence, which allowed Shades to open seven days a week between 10am-4am, was revoked after Cleveland Police applied for a review.

It came on the back of the town-wide Respect Hartlepool campaign that has seen alcohol-fuelled crime targeted by police, along with shoplifting and domestic violence.

A licensing unit was set up by the force to deal with night-time disorder and is said to have had successes.

Among the schemes launched is a voluntary 2am closure for bars in the Victoria Road and Church Street areas.

Busby’s, in Church Street, became the first to sign up to the early closing last week and police hope more will follow.

Since January, any venues applying for a new licence will only be able to open until 2am under new powers approved by councillors.