03:25PM, Tuesday 04 September 2018
Concerned residents have said they fear for ‘public safety’ if a cafe is granted a licence to sell alcohol.
Saints Cafe in St Mark’s Road has applied for a licence to sell alcohol on site from 10am-10pm, including on-street seating outside the building.
Residents who have raised their concerns publicly met with councillors and the cafe owner, at a Licensing Panel Sub-Committee meeting on Friday, August 31.
Genia Taylor, a resident of the adjacent Orchard Grove, said: “We live in a quiet road, I did not choose to live in a road that has a pub at the end of it.
“We feel that public nuisance and public safety is really putting us at risk.”
Patty Rain-Wiffen, another Orchard Grove resident, said she feared her 14-year-old daughter would be ‘vulnerable’ if people were sat drinking alcohol outside the cafe.
Before it was demolished and turned into a cafe, the shop that previously stood were Saints Cafe does now was an off-licence selling alcohol for people to take away.
At the meeting, Gurch Singh, owner of Drinks Superstore, the company that owns the cafe, insisted that he wanted to sell craft beers and wine to young professionals and older people.
Councillors got the chance to ask both Mr Singh and the two residents questions.
Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) raised his concern that people drinking from glasses outside the restaurant could take them away and use them as weapons.
Mr Singh suggested that he was open to using polycarbonate cups that look and feel like glass but do not shatter.
He also revealed that the cafe will use the cafe’s basement, which is fully soundproofed, to host events like work parties.
When councillors expressed concerns with this, he said: “It’s not going to be heaving, there’s not going to be 300 people walking out of there at 10pm.
“It will be a very nice addition to the community.”
Mrs Rain-Wiffen added: “I am all for what you have described today but not for a residential area.
“I don’t know why you want to put it in an area where there’s no noise after 8.30pm.”
A decision is yet to be made on whether to grant the cafe a licence.
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