City venue could lose licence over Covid breach accusations

Bedfords Bar on Old Post Office Yard. Photo: Glen Carr

Bedfords Bar on Old Post Office Yard. Photo: Glen Carr - Credit: Archant

A city bar and entertainment venue could be set to lose its premises licence after being accused of breaking Covid-19 regulations the night before the second national lockdown.

Norwich City Council has applied to review the premises licence of Bedfords, on Old Post Office Yard in Norwich, with a hearing over it set to be heard early next year.

It comes following an incident on Wednesday, November 4, the final day pubs and restaurants could trade ahead of the second national lockdown.

In papers submitted with the review application, it is alleged that the venue allowed people to dance and not observe social distancing as it welcomed its final pre-lockdown customers.

In the application, Richard Divey, public protection officer at City Hall, wrote the reason for the review was that "the premises licence holder failed to comply with The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 by allowing dancing and no social distancing on the evening of November 4, 2020, thus committing an offence".

He added: "The owner admits to being present and not taking action to prevent this breach gives cause for concern that the owner may not be able to control his premises."

The review means it will be up to a panel of councillors on a licensing sub-committee to decide whether to revoke the venue's licence, allow it to continue as normal, or impose further restrictions on the venue.

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Glen Carr, the owner of Bedfords, declined to comment ahead of the review.

It comes after the council launched a probe against another venue over what it says are breaches of coronavirus restrictions.

Diamonds, in Upper St Giles in Norwich, is being investigated over an alleged lockdown breach. Pic:

Diamonds, in Upper St Giles in Norwich, is being investigated over an alleged lockdown breach. Pic: Dan Grimmer. - Credit: Archant

In November, the licence for Diamonds Mediterranean restaurant in Upper St Giles was placed up for review following allegations that a party of 16 had been served there during the lockdown.

Both reviews will be heard in due course.

And earlier this month, the city council confirmed it had received more than 150 complaints about businesses not abiding by Covid-19 regulations since the beginning of the second national lockdown on November 5.

Between November 5 and December 11, Norwich City council received 160 complaints against businesses, which led to several visits, one fixed penalty notice and one prohibition order. 



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