A Nottingham cocktail bar will be allowed to open later and expand after Notts Police withdrew an “over the top” condition it should employ seven door staff.
Brass Monkey, in High Pavement, sought permission from Nottingham City Council’s licensing panel to expand the licensable area to another floor while also extending its opening hours.
The bar opened in 1999 and has a capacity of 200 people.
Nottinghamshire Police, however, feared it could become a “nightclub” because of the changes and requested it employs seven door staff as a condition.
A decision was delayed back in November last year due to an administration error, and the meeting was reconvened on January 16 for the final verdict.
During the meeting licensing lawyer Duncan Craig, who was representing Brass Monkey, described the police’s original condition as an “absurd, preposterous and wholly disproportionate suggestion”.
“This is a venue that is well known, not just in Nottingham but elsewhere, and very well-regarded particularly in the leisure industry and particularly for those people that work in it,” he said.
“This city, the bars in this city, are a huge asset to this city. They are staffed by generally young people, not necessarily well paid, working unsociable hours, doing a job that they love in an industry they care about and in a city they call home.
“You have here an overwhelming number of representations from people within the city, within this industry, people who work locally, who care about this city, who want somewhere they can go once their shift has finished.”
The venue had applied to extend its opening hours, and Mr Craig argued it would be, primarily, regulars and those working in the hospitality sector who would attend the bar late at night.
Under the new licensing rules, the last entry will be 4 am, while the bar serves alcohol until 4.30 am, so long as it closes by 5 am.
Nottinghamshire Police was represented by solicitor Avi Wadhawa.
After consideration, Ms Wadhawa said: “Since the last hearing, and I think we made this very clear at the last hearing as well, yes it is accepted that the request for so many door staff was perhaps over the top.
“I put it that way and I accept that since the last adjourned hearing a site visit has also been done to assist in understanding the premises, and we accept that those door staff aren’t required.
“Nottinghamshire Police’s position now certainly would be that there should be two door staff and then one per floor if another floor is opened.”
Notts Police retained its position over the objection to the opening hours.
The force argued there was “no way” to police who enters the bar and if it would primarily be those who have just finished work in the hospitality sector.
City Centre Neighbourhood Inspector, Paul Gummer, said: “My experience from the city centre is that those premises that are opening into the late hours and have a late entry time generate a number of incidents.
“I still feel the risk of disruption and anti-social behaviour, that will result from having a premises that has a last entry time up until 4 am, will exist regardless of such conditions and are beyond the ability of the venue, regardless of its intended clientèle, to control.”
Ultimately the license was granted despite the objection from Nottinghamshire Police.
No other objections were received.
Justifying the panel’s decision Cllr Audrey Dinnall (Lab), the chair of the meeting, added:
“The police did not raise any concerns in relation to the management of the application premises, and that the application premises are already licensed to serve alcohol and other regulated entertainment until 3 am, and that no specific evidence of noise or other concerns arising from the application premises were presented.”
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