Bar allowed to open beer garden late, after plea to close it early is rejected

Bond in Norwich, on Tombland. Photo: Google

Bond in Norwich, on Tombland. Photo: Google - Credit: Archant

A cocktail bar in the city centre will be able to keep its beer garden open late, after councillors rejected a plea to close it early.

A licence review at Bond, in Tombland, was triggered by a nearby homeowner who said loud music and noise from its beer garden meant they were unable to sleep.

On Monday, at a meeting of Norwich City Council's licensing sub-committee, Toby Matthews, who lives in nearby St Cuthberts House, asked councillors to require the bar to close its beer garden at 11pm or midnight, instead of 2am.

He said while it was his application, he was sharing the sentiments of other residents, and said communication between him and Bond had been 'one-sided'.

'There are flats full of ordinary working men and women who need to get up to go to work and make this fine city even finer,' he said.

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He said was dreading summer and the 'raucous parties' it would bring.

But Josef Cannon, legal representation for Bond, said the team did not recognise that description of the venue, saying it was a cocktail bar rather than a nightclub.

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'The outdoor area is a really important and popular part of Bond's offer,' he said. 'The outside space is vital. If you do go with the suggestion that it should be shut at 11pm that will have a very serious impact on the viability of Bond.

'All that said, we are keen to be a good neighbour. We do take what is said seriously and it is shame we have got to this point.'

He said there were no outdoor speakers, but there were signs advising customers to be respectful, automatically closing doors and a 'responsible' team at the helm.

Bond, which opened in 2015, is surrounded by several other venues, including Bar 11 and CopaCubana.

The meeting also heard from Ann Page, who lives on nearby Princes Street. She said having 'good neighbourliness' on both sides was key.

The committee said it would not close the beer garden early, but would introduce a condition that required Bond to comply with a new noise management policy and dispersal policy. It must not amend the policy without first consulting the council's environmental health team.

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