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Committee restricts late night opening of Bridport bar
6:01pm Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
A BRIDPORT bar has faced with losing its licence has had its opening hours restricted.
Members of West Dorset District Council’s licensing sub committee met to review the licence of No 10 Cafe Bar after police raised concerns about ongoing breaches.
Following the meeting bar owner Paul Hindes said he would not make a snap decision but he may have to consider the future of his business in the light of the latest restrictions imposed.
No 10 had restrictions imposed on its licence back in February 2010 following a previous review that cited concerns regarding overcrowding and drunkenness.
The East Street premises was required to ensure no more than 60 people were in the premises at any one time and were also required to install and operate a CCTV system.
A further amendment was made to prohibit No 10, which has a closing time of 2am, from allowing anyone to enter after 1am.
However, police claim problems have continued and presented evidence before the licensing sub committee.
Divisional licensing officer for Dorset Police Karen O’Donnell claimed officers had counted as many as 89 people in the bar on one occasion last June and, as well as problems with obtaining CCTV footage on a number of occasions, there was also evidence of people entering after 1am.
On two occasions police issued warning notices stating that if Mr Hindes did not comply with the conditions of his licence officers could be forced to take action.
Mrs O’Donnell said: “Since the previous review there has been ongoing dialogue with the premises licence holder Mr Hindes from both local officers and myself.
“There have been numerous discussions and occasions when advice has been given but has gone unheeded.”
More than 50 people sent in representations supporting the bar and both members of the public and local councillors spoke at the meeting to voice their support.
Mr Hinde’s legal representative Paul Hester told the committee that his client accepted there had been ‘occasional, minor and unintentional breaches’ of the licence and had offered to bring forward the closing time until 1am in a bid to avoid some of the problems.
However, the committee went a step further and ordered Mr Hindes must stop serving at midnight and the bar was to be vacated by 12.30am.
They also added a restriction to state that after 10pm two industry accredited door staff must be present at the bar at all times.
After the committee announced its decision Mr Hindes said: “We will give it a go but it could make it financially impossible for us to survive.”
He also thanked all those in the town who had supported the premises during the review.