AN APPLICATION to use extra outside space at a Gillingham pub will be decided by a Dorset Council licensing panel today (Wednesday) after a single neighbour objection.

The Dolphin Inn at Peacemarsh has applied to vary its conditions to include the sale of alcohol in an area which includes its car park, to cater for Covid restrictions.

Although the pub has a licence to 2am Monday to Sunday it says the same hours would not apply to the outdoor area and it plans to close the outside bar at 10pm on most evenings, staying open until 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

The objection from a neighbouring property says the changes could result in a public nuisance and fear that the change will not be temporary, but could become permanent.

The letter claims the pub has doubled its garden area during the year putting drinkers closer than they were to neighbouring properties.

“Given the likely increased footfall that the ‘improvements’ present, the location and times which are proposed mean that public nuisance and direct disruption to our property is all but guaranteed. If the new license is granted in its current and proposed form this will have a direct negative effect on not only our property and us as occupants, but others in the direct vicinity, those who may ultimately be unaware of the proposal.”

The couple who object say their property already suffers from noise and smoke and they have been forced to keep windows and doors closed to try and reduce the effects of both.

The objector has also complained about the lack of notification from Dorset Council about the proposed changes claiming they only heard of it from someone else.

A response from the pub denies some of the claims and argues that the changes will not only make the pub safer for clients but will make it more family-friendly: “Our aim is to create a safer Covid environment, further improve the feel and impact of the outside space whilst having staff closer to the customers that are drinking in the garden,” said an emailed response.