Dereham landlady given permission to extend hours
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Pub-goers have been given more choice of late-night venues after a long-serving landlady was given permission to open for longer.
Joanne Cross, who runs the Plough and Furrow in Dereham, has been given the green light by Breckland Council's licensing committee to extend her opening times by half an hour to 4am.
The mother-of-three's extended licence will also enable her to sell alcohol and play recorded music until 3.30am.
As previously reported, Miss Cross, who has run the Plough and Furrow in Dereham for 20 years, recently battled back from leukaemia.
She said she wanted to extend her trading hours in a bid to provide a solid future for her children and to give customers in Dereham more choice, with nearby Splitz the only venue in the town with a late licence.
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Miss Cross, 44, who had applied to have her opening hours extended to 4.30am and to sell alcohol untl 4am, said the hours granted were a 'good compromise'.
She said: 'I'm happy with the decision. It gives a more level playing field and it's proven that they recognise I run a well-established and professionally managed business.'
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A number of conditions on Miss Cross' licence were also lifted or varied but she was requested to take a course in first aid and to sign up to a 'pub watch' scheme if one were to be set up in Dereham.
During the committee meeting, police raised concerns about two venues in close proximity, the Plough and Furrow and Splitz, having a late-night licence.
It was also heard how there had been 13 reported incidents of assault, public disorder or drug use in or around the Plough and Furrow over the past 13 months.
Miss Cross, however, argued that her clientele tended to be 25-plus and that she had never been subject to a review in 20 years, her venue was 'well run' and that any incidents had been dealt with.
Earlier this week, the owners of Splitz, which opens until 4.15am and had been threatened with a one-month closure, reached an agreement with Breckland Council and the police to stay open as long they adhere to a number of conditions.