Fate of Swaffham pub to be decided

COUNCILLORS will next week decide whether to allow a Swaffham town centre pub to extend its opening hours.

COUNCILLORS will next week decide whether to allow a Swaffham town centre pub to extend its opening hours.

The White Hart in the Market Place, which was shut for several months after a series of problems, has re-opened after being leased to Yorkshire-based Inns2BInn.

The company has now applied to Breckland Council to make a range of changes to the licensing hours, including selling alcohol and playing music to midnight from Sunday-Thursday nights and to 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Councillors will meet a week today, February 10, to decide whether to allow the extensions.

In a report the licensing sub-committee, environmental health officer Sue Hammond said she had 'some concerns' about the late night opening and the effects on nearby residents.

She is especially worried about the function room which has 'poor sound insulation.'

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A series of measures are being recommended - such as having double doors or a lobby, keeping doors and windows closed and not allowing entertainment in the yard.

Swaffham Town Council is objecting to the extension to 1am 'on the grounds of the prevention of public nuisance due to the impact of disturbance caused to local residents.'

They are suggesting a closing time of midnight.

Town councillors are also asking for a review of the licence in three-six months time.

Deputy town clerk Michelle Meyrick said: 'This would allow an assessment to be carried out of the new tenants in regard to problems that arose from the previous tenants. The council were very conscious of not being over restrictive to a new business which in general they support.'

Two letters have been sent to Breckland from local people objecting to the proposed extension.

Breckland's licensing sub-committee is at the Assembly Rooms in Swaffham on Wednesday, February 10 at 10am. The agenda for the meeting, which contains full details of the application and correspondence, is available from Breckland Council offices at Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE. It can also be viewed on the Breckland Council website - www.breckland.gov.uk