Gorleston pub bids for a 24-hour licence

PUBLISHED: 10:44 04 January 2013

The Tramway pub on Lowestoft Road, Gorleston.

Picture: James Bass

The Tramway pub on Lowestoft Road, Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

(C) James Bass 2012

A pub in the heart of Gorleston town centre is seeking permission to open 24-hours per day “to show sporting events”.

Police and four neighbouring residents have objected to The Tramway pub’s licensing application, which would allow 24-hour sale of alcohol.

But landlord Philip Taylor said complaints are unfounded, and the pub would not open late on a regular basis.

The application for the pub – beside Gorleston library in Lowestoft Road – would make it the only pub in Gorleston allowed to open beyond 2am.

“I purely want this licence for sporting events to try to keep the business open as a lot are shutting down,” explained Mr Taylor, who also runs the King’s Head pub in Loddon.

“We’re trying to run a legal pub, we do shut on time, live music does stop at midnight and the juke box is turned to a reasonable level. I don’t see why there’s any problem.”

He said the licence would save him the cost and paperwork of applying for a string of one-off event licenses for events like test match cricket in India and boxing.

He added he was the first landlord in Norfolk to gain a 24-hour licence when running the Duke’s Head in Gorleston High Street from 1999 to 2006.

“It worked,” he said. “We didn’t keep it open 24-hours then and we don’t expect to now.”

Michaela Kent, manageress of The Tramway, is keen to offer more to sports fans.

“No-one else in the area really shows boxing events, and we’ve got to look to Brazil with the World Cup and the next Olympics,” she said. “We wouldn’t open every day of the week – just for events.

“It would allow somewhere for people to watch sport together.”

The 39-year-old has represented Britain at shot put and javelin at events including the Belgium world junior games in 1989, and said The Tramway is a very “sport-minded” pub.

She added there is no history of disorder, a CCTV camera on the library overlooks the pub and there would be a last-entry policy. But police fear late opening would allow people to get more drunk, and thus increase crime and disorder.

Tony Grover, licensing officer for Norfolk police, has written to the borough council to raise concerns.

“The police are concerned that if this venue were to become the only venue in Gorleston with permission to be open beyond 2am it would be seriously likely to attract customers who may already be suffering from the adverse effects of alcohol consumption and who would have otherwise dispersed from the area,” he wrote.

He said crime figures do not show disorder in the area after 2am, and added “that is the way police would like to keep it”.

The main complaint from neighbours concerns sound pollution.

Mrs M Bowles, of Lowestoft Road, wrote “the music is so loud we think it’s coming from our own front garden” and feared extending the hours would make sleep “impossible”.

But others cite smashed bottles, “drunken vomit puddles” and urinating in the street as reasons the hours of alcohol sale should not be increased.

The application will go before licensing councillors at Great Yarmouth town hall on Tuesday, January 8.

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