Licence given for new pub

Interior of the Corn Exchange in Alnwick.

Interior of the Corn Exchange in Alnwick.

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A licence has been granted for a new Wetherspoon’s pub in Alnwick despite objections from a neighbouring resident.

Planning permission was approved to convert the Grade II listed former Corn Exchange, on Bondgate Within, to a JD Wetherspoon pub last month, bringing the building back into use after it was left empty for 20 years.

And on Monday a hearing was held to determine the terms of the drinks licence which will be held at the premises.

The committee granted the sale of alcohol from 8am to midnight, Monday to Wednesday and Sunday, and 8am to 1am, Thursday to Saturday.

However, a string of conditions was also attached to the approval, after concerns were raised by a resident and Northumberland County Council’s public protection service.

At Monday’s meeting, Melanie Thew, who lives on Green Batt, said: “The rear of our house overlooks the rear of the building and the area where people will be eating and drinking throughout the day and smoking after 9pm.

“People could have been consuming alcohol all day and the management of that area isn’t particularly clear.

“There is a lower seating area and an upper area.

“I can understand, if smokers would be confined to the lower seating area, that managers would have some control, but if they went up the steps to the upper area they wouldn’t be seen by management.”

Concerns were also raised by public protection in regards to noise emanating from the site .

But Nigel Connor, head of legal at JD Wetherspoon, said: “We will do all that we can to minimise disturbance. We will have high levels of training and after 9pm members of staff will be tasked specifically with going outside and making sure there is no disturbance.”

He added that the configuration of the seating area had not yet been set in stone but that he was happy to work with the neighbours to make sure that their concerns do not come to fruition.

Conditions have been attached to the licence.

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