Hartlepool coffee house's pledge to residents after alcohol licence extension
Coffee house bosses who have won an extension to their alcohol licence say they are aiming to “level up” the area and apologised for any concerns caused to residents.
A licensing hearing was held after 10 objections were submitted to an application from Lee Pennick, at Trinity Guest House, in Seaton Carew, to vary the hours the premises could sell alcohol.
The application was to allow the site to sell alcohol from 9am-11pm seven days a week.
But Hartlepool borough councillors have instead granted a licence for 11am-10.30pm each day.
The site in Church Street, Seaton Carew, was previously licensed to sell alcohol from 5.30pm-10.30pm from Mondays-Saturdays and noon-4.30pm on Sundays.
At a licensing sub-committee meeting, Mr Pennick explained the property has been sublet to Seahorse Coffee House, to be run by Helen and David Gregory.
Mrs Gregory said the site will not feature a bar and the application is just to allow alcohol to be served as an extra to items such as cake and coffee.
She said: “It’s a coffee house, it’s going to be about different types of coffee from all around the world, introducing people to the coffee experience.
“The alcohol is to supplement, to add to our menu, it’s not going to be in any shape or form, a bar, or anywhere where you can come in and only buy alcohol.
“The amount of people that said wouldn’t it be nice to have a glass of wine, things like that with their cake and their coffee.”
The couple also run the Seahorse Coffee Box, on the front at Seaton Carew, and said this is the “totally unexpected” next stage for them.
Mrs Gregory apologised for any worries caused in the area and said in hindsight they should have spent time speaking with residents.
She said: “I do apologise to all of those people that have perhaps had sleepless nights and worry about a potential bar on the doorstep, because I would have been exactly the same.
“What we want to achieve is up the level of what goes on in Church Street, hopefully our business will help improve the other businesses in the area.”
Ahead of the meeting 10 objections had been submitted from residents, raising concerns the application could lead to increased noise and nuisance.
Councillor Lesley Hamilton said the hearing would likely not have had to be held if residents had all the information.
She said: “It all sounds really lovely and once it’s up and established I’m sure the locals will really enjoy it being there.”
Daniel Kitching, speaking on behalf of residents who raised concerns, said it was a shame they were not more informed on what would be happening.
However he added he still had concerns about the later opening hours.
Mrs Gregory said the site is only currently open 11am until 4.30pm and will likely only be open until 6pm when indoor opening hours can be resumed.
She said she applied for the 9am-11pm hours following talks with council licensing officers as they advised her to apply for the full hours applicable for ease.