York’s new bar in retreat after backlash – but police still don’t like the plans

The new bar would be where the white shop front is now. Photograph: YorkMix
23 Mar 2017 @ 8.00 pm
| News

Developers who want to open a large new bar in York have scaled down their plans after a backlash from businesses and residents.

But police are still urging the council to reject the plans.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, an existing bar on the same street has applied to expand its licence.

The story so far

The owners of the empty BHS store in Coney Street – Lloyds Bank SF Nominees – are splitting it into three units.

Planning permission is being sought from City of York Council to turn one of the units into a Revolucion De Cuba Bar.

But the plan has prompted a number of objections. One came from the designing out crime officer at North Yorkshire Police, Jim Shanks, who said it would lead to more alcohol-related disorder in a street already teeming with bars.

The Judges Court Hotel, off Coney Street. Photograph: YorkMix

His views were echoed by Andrew Knights, the owner of Dusk, the bar located opposite the BHS New Street entrance. He said the Revolucion bar “will add anti-social problems on New Street that we have spent a decade battling against already”.

The owner of the historic Judges Court Hotel, which backs on to the old BHS, said noise from the bar could decimate business. While Alan Wilkinson, who runs the Axis Barber Shop in New Street, said he had to close the shop early on Saturday because of drunken, anti-social behaviour.

Prompted a rethink

A photograph from the Revolucion De Cuba Bars Facebook page

In response, Lloyds Bank SF Nominees have withdrawn their plans for a rooftop bar and pavement terrace.

A letter to City of York Council from Indigo Planning Ltd, sent on behalf of the property owners, states that the proposal is supported by the environmental health officer. It goes on:

Revolucion De Cuba also have considerable experience of successfully operating similar bars and will implement a management plan at the site to help address concerns raised regarding customer dispersal and anti-social behaviour.

The pavement café and roof terrace have also now been removed the current application.

We trust that the above addresses concerns raised regarding the proposal and that officers can grant planning permission for the change of use application.

Police unhappy

The Drawing Board with its existing pavement seating area on New Street. Photograph: YorkMix

But Mr Shanks, police designing out crime officer, has seen the revised application and still recommends it is refused.

In his new letter to planners he writes: “The inclusion of further licensed premises in this street has a realistic potential to increase problems of disorder and public nuisance, as previously highlighted.

“There are therefore good planning grounds, backed by policy, for refusing this application on crime and disorder grounds.”

In a separate development, existing New Street bar The Drawing Board (previously the Blue Fly) has applied for permission to increase its pavement café.

It wants to expand the area of outdoor seating from 2.1m to 2.9 metres into the street. And it is applying for a licence to cover the extended pavement café area for live music and the supply of alcohol till 4am daily.