Baldock pub hours extended despite opposition

A LANDLORD’S plan to extend his pub’s opening hours has been given the green light by a council, despite opposition from residents.

North Herts District Council’s (NHDC) licensing and appeals sub-committee discussed the application by Rob Scahill, landlord of The Orange Tree in Norton Road in Baldock, on Monday.

The licence had allowed the pub to open at 11am Monday to Saturday and at midday on Sunday, and to permit music to be played on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The sub-committee has agreed to a licence which allows The Orange Tree to open at 8am every day, and for music to be played from 11am till midnight Monday to Thursday, 11am till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11am till midnight on Sundays.

The sub-committee did refuse permission for the pub to remain open until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, instead of 1.30am. “The sub-committee considered these to be the most noise sensitive periods for those living in neighbouring properties,” said a council spokesman.

The majority of people who contacted the council to register their views as part of the application process were against the plans.

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Residents living nearby registered concerns that the new proposals would increase noise and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Some residents even went as far as to say they may be forced to move if the licence was approved.

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Those in support of the application said the pub played an important part in bringing the community together.

The NHDC spokesman said: “The applicant may wish to apply for the additional hour once he has operated the premises with the activities and times granted and can demonstrate no issues have arisen from the changes.

“The sub-committee is also mindful of the review mechanism in the event that residents’ concerns arise in the future.”

Mr Scahill said: “I was delighted that it was recognised that this is a proper traditional British pub that’s a wonderful place to come and eat and drink and enjoy an atmosphere.

“We will now be having more local bands on and we are very aware of our responsibility to our neighbours and will continue to run a good house.”

He added: “It’s a shame that people didn’t come into the pub and see what it’s like and ask what’s happening, instead of jumping to conclusions, which I think they did.”

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