Popworld in Hartlepool makes bid to keep 3am licence

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Popworld bosses are looking to confirm their existing opening hours on a permanent basis following a one-year trial – once coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, of course.

In 2019 an application from Stonegate Pub Company, the organisation behind Popworld in Victoria Road, was approved extending hours it can play music and serve alcohol from 2am to 3am.

It also extended the hours it could open from 2.30am to 3.30am.

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However the extensions were only granted on a trial period after an agreement was reached with police.

Popworld, Victoria Road, HartlepoolPopworld, Victoria Road, Hartlepool
Popworld, Victoria Road, Hartlepool | Johnston Press

Police had initially objected to the longer hours on the grounds of crime, disorder and harm to public safety, but after talks dropped the objections, on the condition a one-year trial period for the licence was carried out to monitor the situation.

Following the trial, Stonegate have now submitted a licensing application to Hartlepool Borough Council for the hours to be granted on a permanent basis.

The application from Stonegate states the trial period ‘has been a success’ and talks have been held with police ahead of the latest application.

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It said: “Since that time, the applicant has been operating very successfully with a gradual, safe and controlled dispersal of customers.

“The successful trial period and feedback from pre-consultation demonstrates that the application will not add to the cumulative impact [in the area] and the premises will continue to promote the licensing objectives.

“Stonegate Pub Company Limited have in place an extensive licensing manual detailing both company policies appropriate across the whole estate, along with procedures in place at a local level to ensure the premises operates to the highest standard and promotes the licensing objectives.

“Stonegate take their responsibility as a premises licence holder seriously and are committed to working in partnership with the responsible authorities and the community within which they trade.”

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The licensing application also states a minimum of three registered door supervisors will be employed from 10pm until close on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and the day preceding a bank holiday, one of which shall be wearing a body camera.

All other times the need for door supervisors will be assessed by way of risk assessment and any police advice.

The trial licence also allowed Popworld to remain open a further hour on certain dates such as St Patrick’s Day, St George’s Day, Halloween, Bank Holiday weekends, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, which would again be allowed.

The chain is renowned for championing 1990s cheese and noughties nostalgia and has been open since November 2018, but the site was previously home to Yates’s.

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Popworld, like all other bars and clubs, remains closed under coronavirus restrictions for the foreseeable future.

Council meetings in Hartlepool were also cancelled in light of the pandemic so it is unclear when a decision will be made on the licensing application, or when Popworld will be able to take advantage of any decision in its favour.

UK citizens have been asked to stay at home unless they need to be essential supplies, attend a medical appointment or care for a vulnerable relative, go to work if it is essential, or to take exercise once a day.