‘We are sick of the abuse we get from groups of drunken men and women from stag and hen parties.’
Those are the words of Alan Wilkinson, who runs the Axis Barber Shop in New Street, York.
He is the latest person to speak out against the plan to create a new restaurant and bar in the former BHS store.
Planning permission is being sought from City of York Council to turn one of the three units being created from the Coney Street store into a Revolucion De Cuba Bar.
This would open on to New Street, a few doors down from where Mr Wilkinson runs his barber shop six days a week.
Hitting ‘every decent business’
In an objection to the new bar lodged with planners, Mr Wilkinson reveals the toll drunken behaviour has had on his business.
Since before Christmas he has been closing his shop at 4pm on York’s busiest shopping day, Saturday, because of the drunken behaviour he has encountered.
I feel another bar is the last thing our street needs let alone York in general.
The amount of drunkenness and inflatables in poor taste are a disgrace.
Mr Wilkinson says these antics are “putting people off from coming into York on a Saturday to do shopping.
“It’s having an effect on every decent business not just mine. The mess people leave is also
disgusting, from vomit to blood after the night before.”
His comments are added to a growing list of objectors. Spearheading the fight against the new bar are the police, who believe it would result in “increased problems of disorder and public nuisance affecting residents, visitors and other businesses”.
Andrew Knights, who runs Dusk, a bar operating almost opposite the New Street entrance of BHS, says it will “add anti-social problems on New Street that we have spent a decade battling against already”.
He also believes people are staying away from York on Saturdays to avoid the trouble.
Another new objector is York artist Kevin Greenhill, who is also worried about the potential impact on the city centre from “drunken and nuisance behaviour” .
I think that more bars will just dilute the custom so far that in order to survive, the bars will have to aim for any trade they can get, this will help nobody.
This whole issue has been brought about by the unintended consequences of the actions of people through the 80’s 90’s and early 00’s who constantly complained about the vibrant and sometimes antisocial and disruptive antics that used to go on to the south of the river.
In response to their constant complaints and over the top opinions, the council introduced the cumulative impact zone, which prevented the pubs in that area from expanding to meet demand, and moving with the times, in response, the shopping side of the city became the place to open new bars, causing the disruption to shoppers that we now see whereas micklegate is now a very nice place for a civilised drink on a night with virtually no trouble at all.
If the complainers had not shouted so loudly in the past, the trouble would still be over the river and away from the shops. It shows that sometimes it is best to live and let live, not expect everybody to follow your personal lifestyle.