Pub licence plans prompt protests

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NEIGHBOURS of a Garstang pub have reacted angrily to plans for longer opening hours and changes to its licence.

A catalogue of complaints has been sent to licensing councillors who will decide on the Eagle and Child’s plans tomorrow.

The complaints includes allegations that customers have defecated on a neighbour’s land, urinated in the pub’s weind and vomited on the pub wall.

The applicant for the licence variation, Mr Ross Wallis, says he wants the changes to bring the pub’s trade “to match those of local competitors”.

He wants the pub to be open from 10am to 2am every day, have more time for alcohol sales (until 1.45am, 1.30am on Sundays) and longer time for playing recorded music (until 1.30am).

But nearby residents say they are fed up with existing disturbances, and are urging members of Wyre Council’s licensing committee to turn down the application.

Neighbour Maggie Thomas, who lives in the flat next door to the pub and is owner of the former Co-op Pharmacy (newly re-opened as Atrium), says she often has to clear up broken glass, vomit and, on two recent occasions, human excrement, from her property next to the Eagle and Child car park.

She says her efforts to get the landlord to turn down the noise on one weekend evening failed, with the landlord implying “he was not prepared to do anything about that, and I’d just have to accept it”.

In her letter to the council, Mrs Thomas says: “I find it very difficult to sleep until very late, which cannot be good. I can feel the vibrations whichever room I am in.”

John and Margaret Brough, of High Street, say the pub already abuses its music licence on Fridays and weekends, saying: “The noise we have to put up with is almost unbelievable.”

They also criticise the behaviour of customers who stand outside the pub to smoke and drink and who, rather than visit the pub toilets “use the weind to urinate”.

In their letter to the council, they say two deposits of vomit were left by a young female customer outside the pub.

Helen and Dean Kennedy, of Old Bank House, High Street, who have two small children, say their home is “constantly disturbed by excessive noise levels and by many drunk and rowdy people at all hours”.

They also refer to “late night gatherings with seemingly no monitoring by the authorities”.

Wyre environmental health official Marie Ackelbein is also objecting, saying: “The application has the potential to cause a statutory nuisance at the nearest residential premises.”

Pub bosses have agreed to conditions on a varied licence, which would see door supervisors in place in an effort to prevent crime and disorder and frequent collections of glasses and bottles from in and around the pub.

There have been no objections from the police or fire authority.

The application will be considered at Wyre Civic Centre, Poulton, at 6pm tonight, Wednesday, by licensing councillors. The meeting is open to the public.

When contacted by The Courier for a response to the neighbours’ concerns, Mr Wallis declined to comment.