Two complaints bring planned video game cafe One Life Left before Norwich City Council licensing committee

A new video game cafe is to open in Norwich. Picture Jon Gage.

A new video game cafe is to open in Norwich. Picture Jon Gage. - Credit: Jon Gage

Complaints from two neighbours mean plans for a video game cafe will now go before a city council committee, after they raised concerns about noise pollution and crime and disorder.

One Life Left had hoped to open in May next door to the Farmyard restaurant in St Benedict's Street, and plans to offer gaming alongside snacks and drinks.

Players of all ages would be able to play everything from 8-bit video games to the latest releases, but a request to serve alcohol until midnight has prompted complaints from residents.

One resident of Maude Grey Court said they were 'concerned disorderly behaviour may arise from excessive alcohol consumption coupled with a competitive gaming culture'.

They added: 'Disorderly behaviour especially when fuelled by alcohol and competitive rivalry could cause aggressive behaviour which may pose a threat to public safety.

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'The noise from video games may also be audible outside the premises and cause a nuisance to customers of the adjoining health and well being centre.'

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Another neighbour, on St Benedict's Street, expressed concern to the city council the cafe 'would be open until midnight seven days a week serving alcohol and potentially playing loud music'.

The cafe is the brainchild of Jon Gage, 36, whose work as a manager of retailer Game gave him insight into the gaming industry, where he was able to identify a gap in the market.

'From my time spent working at Game I have seen that the gaming industry is moving towards a more digital model and there will soon be a smaller presence on the high street,' he said.

'If you look to the Far East and the USA the gaming industry is huge and based around cafés and competitions and I thought that it would work well in Norwich as the city is one of the top places in the country when it comes to the concentration of players and money spent on gaming.'

The idea of the café is a simple one. Customers will be able to purchase the usual coffee or panini but the twist is that when they return to their table there will be a games console there they can enjoy, as they consume their food and drink.

Norwich City Council's licensing committee will consider the application at its meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, May 16).

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