A Falmouth bar’s attempt to win an extension to its entertainment licence is being opposed by town councillors and neighbouring residents.
Peter Walker, of the Hand Beer Bar in Old Brewery Yard, has applied for consent to provide live and recorded music indoors and outdoors from 9am until 1am, seven days a week although he told Falmouth’s licensing sub-committee that he did not intend to have music outdoors after 8pm.
He is also seeking to extend his licence to take in the former dentist surgery above, on the first floor, which would double the size of the bar. A planning application for a change of use is currently being considered.
Mr Walker said: “We are licensed indoors, we would like to have a licence for outside as well. We have the sea shanty festival here every year and we would like to have a few more events like that and know we are not outside of our licence obligations.
“We would not want to be too late so we’d have a cut off time at 8pm. We know we have neighbours. We are not going to be having events outside all the time.”
Eight residents of Harbour Terrace, though, attended the meeting to object to the application.
Representing them, Gary Tranter said: “The courtyard acts like a mini amphitheatre carrying all the sounds up from the courtyard to Harbour Terrace and beyond.
“On occasion it produces unacceptable levels of noise, especially in the summer when patrons sit outside finishing their drinks until the early hours of the morning.
Our objection is this will produce a significant increase in the level of noise from 11pm until 1am, seven days a week and will create an unacceptable public nuisance. As alcohol flows so does the increase in noise which is funnelled directly up to Harbour Terrace.”
Councillors were concerned that the application states a 1am cut-off time for the music, even though Mr Walker insisted he only wanted until 8pm.
Mayor John Body said: “If we passed this, you will have permission to play music outside until 1am. I think it is unfortunate that it says that because if the extension outside was only until 8pm I think it would go through.”
Councillor Diana Merrett added: “I’m not happy with it because it’s a tiny courtyard and the noise will escalate up and onto the terraces.”
The committee is recommending Cornwall Council refuse the application on the grounds it would cause a public nuisance, however councillors stated that if the application was for 8pm instead of 1am, they may have been minded to take a different stance.