Gorleston pub wins compromise on 24 hour openings

PUBLISHED: 10:03 13 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 “SPORT-MINDED” Gorleston pub has won permission to open for 24-hours a day on 30 days per calendar year.

Philip Taylor, landlord of The Tramway pub, in Lowestoft Road, hoped for permission to open the premises 24-hours a day all year round – later than the current 2am at weekends.

He explained he would not keep the pub open late on a regular basis, but would be able to show sporting events such as test match cricket without the need for the paperwork of temporary event notices.

Licensing councillors at Great Yarmouth Borough Council were concerned about the “damage” 24-hour opening could cause to neighbours. But they were impressed with the experience of manager Michaela Kent, and met the pub in the middle with a 30-day per year 24-hour licence.

The ruling makes the pub the only one in Gorleston permitted to open after 2am.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Taylor said: “We’re over the moon. Like we said, we wanted it for sporting events and this should suffice.”

Ms Kent, who has previously managed the Heartsease pub in Norwich, added: “It’s brilliant and now we can show our boxing and Grand Prix.”

Staff at the pub must notify police and the licensing authority five working days before a day on which they intend to use the 24-hour licence.

Last entry is at 1.30am, with the exception of customers re-entering from the smoking area – with prominent signage explaining this.

A Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) must be on site during the additional serving hours, and among other conditions are that a seven-camera CCTV system be installed.

The application had been opposed by police, fearing increased likelihood of drunken disorder, and by four residents.

But Mr Taylor told the meeting The Tramway, beside Gorleston library, was not to blame for late night rowdiness.

“The Ocean Room kicks out at 2am,” he explained. “People have to get back to the town and they cut through the car park as it’s a right of way.”

He added live music never runs beyond midnight, and offered to speak to residents with complaints over noise to try to deal with problems.

Ms Kent added that litter strewn in the locality was not down to the pub.

“I do find a numerous amount of cans and bottles in the car park, but I don’t sell White Lightning, or McDonalds, or KFC,” she said. “It’s hard as half the people who use the car park aren’t my customers.”

She added she has barred several problem drinkers since she became manageress 10 months ago, in a bid to “clean up” the pub’s image.

Tony Grover, licensing officer for Norfolk police, said: “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 added crime figures do not show disorder in the area after 2am, and “that is the way police would like to keep it”.

Neighbour Patrick Smith said he had to turn his TV up to mask noise coming from the pub, but the person who lives nearest the Tramway wrote in to say he had no objections.

The licence was granted by a majority decision.

Mr Taylor also runs the King’s Head pub in Loddon, which has a 24-hour licence, and 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 discuss noise from the pub with Mr Taylor or Ms Kent, visit the pub or call 01493 412010.

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