A York hotel has been granted a late alcohol licence, despite parent’s fears it would put children at a nearby school in harm’s way.
The 12-bed Holgate Bridge Hotel on Holgate Road applied for a late alcohol licence, prompting worries from locals about drunkenness by guests in its garden.
Opposers of the hotel say the location is inappropriate, being in a largely residential area backing onto St Paul’s C Of E Primary School.
Tom Mitchell, a parent and governor at the primary school spoke against the plans in a City of York Council licensing hearing on Monday (12 June).
“The principal issue from the school, and from a parent’s point of view, is safeguarding the children from harm,” he said.
“The rear of the applicant premises sits pretty much directly opposite the entrance and exit to the primary school.”
He added: “There is going to be, undoubtedly, an increased traffic risk. That affects the children and that puts them in harm’s way.”
Holgate Bridge Hotel on 106-108 Holgate Road applied for a 24-hour licence to sell alcohol on and off the premises to guests, and between 8am and midnight to members of the public.
It also wanted a late night refreshment licence to sell alcohol from 11pm to 5am to hotel residents and guests. The new licence would allow people drinking alcohol outside until 9pm, with background music playing in the property garden, and inside until midnight.
Children at St Paul’s C Of E Primary School are picked up by their parents from 3.10pm until around 6pm.
Leo Charalambides, who represented residents in Holgate Road, expressed concern about drunk guests swearing in the garden.
He said: “We’ve seen the way noise carries across our back gardens. And let’s just think about the noise.”
While Mr Charalambides told councillors that the capacity of the hotel could be up to 124 people, James Staton, who represented the applicant, said its maximum capacity was actually 42 and that there is “no wish to put any children at harm.”
Mr Staton said: “Alcohol is not the primary mover here.
“What the applicant is looking for is to establish an upmarket quality offering to visitors to York where they can stay in a boutique hotel with facilities to dine and to enjoy a drink with their meals or afterwards in the small bar.”
He told councillors the hotel would sell sustainable local wines, bottled craft beer, Yorkshire whiskey and gins and would not look to replicate the nearby pub the Volunteer Arms.
Mr Staton insisted the plans would not be a “major change” to what is already on offer in the area.
He said: “At picking up time at the end of the day, most residents will be out and about enjoying York and Yorkshire during that time.
“The rear area will only become more active as the evening progresses from the early evening when people want to dine outside if the weather permits.
“So the applicant says that the thought that children being taken or dropped off at school are going to be exposed to drunkenness and unpleasant scenes is entirely wrong.”
Mr Staton added: “The fears of residents and representers that this hotel is going to bring in large numbers of people to provide crime and disorder and public nuisance is, I’m afraid, illusory.
“There appears to be some frenzy among the local residents as to what is going to happen at the property.”
The hotel will have 18 covers in the restaurant, 12 in the bar and 36 outside.
Councillors approved the plans on the conditions that no bottles are outside between 9pm and 8am on the following day, alcohol is not removed from the property and those drinking outside are served alcohol with a meal.
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