Hartlepool shop receives booze licence despite dozens of objections

A Hartlepool shop has been granted a licence to sell alcohol despite dozens of people signing a petition against the plan.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 11:57 am

Hartlepool Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee met to consider an application from Bellevue Booze to allow its premises at 10 Sydenham Road to sell alcohol from 10am until 11pm.

The hearing was called after two letters of objection were submitted to the licensing application from residents, one of which included a 69-signature petition.

Councillors ultimately decided to grant the licence, but only until 10pm, due to guidelines set out in the council’s licensing policy for residential areas.

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Bellevue Booze, in Sydenham Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

A statement alongside the petition stated the residents “strongly objected” to the licence being issued due to concerns it could lead to the area becoming “too noisy and too busy”, disturbing those who live nearby.

However the application from Belle Vue Booze stated they would promote the licensing objectives by ensuring sales of alcohol are to “sensible, age worthy customers”, with checks carried out where necessary.

It added no sale of alcohol will be given to any individual or group “who show any signs of antisocial or disrespectful behaviour”.

The site in question already held a premises licence prior to the latest application.

Yet council documents state it was suspended because of outstanding annual fees from the previous licensee.

To unsuspend a licence, all outstanding annual fees must be paid, which in this case totalled £770, so the applicant made an application for a new licence costing “much less”.

Following the meeting, a council spokesperson confirmed why the decision was made to issue a licence until 10pm.

They said: “The sub-committee considered the council’s licensing policy which states that, in residential areas, licences would usually only be granted until 10pm where objections to later closing had been received.

“As objections had been received in this instance, the sub-committee decided there were no good reasons to deviate from its policy and, as such, a 10pm terminal hour was granted.

“The sub-committee also took into account the fact that the premises was already licensed to sell alcohol but the licence was currently suspended due to the non-payment of a number of annual fees.

“If the application had been refused, the applicant would have been at liberty to pay those outstanding fees and reactivate the suspended licence.”

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