Beccles pub forced to cut opening hours

Victoria NichollsA Beccles pub has had its opening hours cut after complaints of crime and disorder led its licence to be reviewed by a council panel.Victoria Nicholls

A Beccles pub has had its opening hours cut after complaints by neighbours about crime and disorder led to its licence being reviewed by a council panel.

Closing time on Friday and Saturday nights at the Ingate pub will now be two hours earlier - 11.30pm - in an attempt to stamp out noise and antisocial behaviour.

Waveney District Council's licensing committee agreed on the action at a meeting yesterday after Suffolk police applied for a review of the premises licence.

The police said that despite positive meetings to address complaints, any improvements had been short-lived.

The panel took into account complaints over noise from music and about people leaving late at night, and the behaviour of customers exiting the premises. It decided that, given the pub's residential location in Grove Road, a reduction in hours was the appropriate response.

Closing time on Sunday to Thursday evenings has been brought forward to 11pm while on Fridays and Saturdays the pub will shut at 11.30pm.

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Closing time on bank holidays, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be midnight, with a 2am closure on New Year's Eve.

On all days, the sale of alcohol and other licensable activities, such as playing live and recorded music, will end half an hour before closing.

Insp Stuart Grimsey, of Suffolk police, said he was satisfied that neighbours would see an improvement.

"Although there are several factors which contribute to alcohol-related disorder, it is important that licensed premises take responsibility for helping to keep that disorder to a minimum," he said.

"Part of this process is to listen to the concerns of the local community and ensure that public houses don't have a negative impact on the residents who live nearby," Mr Grimsey added.

The new hours will not take effect until after the appeal deadline of 21 days, or after any appeal is resolved.

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