Wirral is set to open a new Wetherspoons pub, after its license was approved today.
JD Wetherspoon bar will open at 1-5 The Mount in Heswall, after the Wirral Council licensing panel granted it a pass to serve alcohol at a meeting held at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.
The chain of pubs had wanted to open until 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 12.30am the rest of the week, but this was disputed by many in Heswall.
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The Heswall Society, a resident group of about 450 members, was not in favor.
Speaking in January, his planning officer Roger Lane said: “There are many residential properties nearby, and we believe from a long history of noise issues that this would affect them quite severely.”
In today’s meeting, the pub requested shorter opening times, between 9 a.m. and 11:30 p.m., with alcohol to be served until 11 p.m.
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Margaret O’Donnell, Wirral Council’s director of licensing, said a local resident had voiced his objections to the plan and was concerned about antisocial behavior and noise.
Nigel Connor, legal manager at JD Wetherspoons, said the hours requested by the pub chain were shorter than those at the old Exchange Bar based on the same site.
Mr Connor added that 50 or 60 people will be employed, full time or part time, at the pub.
He also said people shouldn’t be worried about the alcohol served at 9 a.m., as it isn’t a problem at other Wetherspoons pubs.
Cllr David Burgess-Joyce, who represents the Tories, noted the current issues regarding anti-social behavior in Heswall and asked representatives of the pub chain if that would give them anything more to deal with.
Ged Murphy, managing director of the pub chain, said the company would do its best for this and staff would wear body cameras, which acted as a deterrent against such behavior in other pubs.
Liberal Democrat Councilor Dave Mitchell asked what the pub would do to prevent people from getting drunk and causing trouble in the local community.
Mr Murphy said the pub chain had strong methods in place to prevent underage drinking and the managers had been promoted by the company after a lot of experience and knew how to deal with the problem.
His colleague Mr Connor spoke about the pub’s outdoor space, saying that looking at the floor plans it seemed like around 80 to 100 people could eat or drink on the left side of the area, with 20 to 30 more on the right side.
He felt that this suited the area as all exterior areas of the premises must close at 9 p.m.