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Noisy Lobster in Mudeford wins takeaway alcohol licence bid

CONTROVERSIAL plans to allow a seafront restaurant in Mudeford to serve takeaway alcohol have been approved.

Dozens of people wrote to BCP Council opposing the extension of the Noisy Lobster’s licence due to concerns it would encourage “alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour”, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But councillors said they were “satisfied” that allowing off-sales would not lead to any issues, as long as conditions agreed with Dorset Police were added to the licence.

Councillors said they were “satisfied” the sales would not lead to any issues
Councillors said they were “satisfied” the sales would not lead to any issues

Peter Hayward, the restaurant’s director, applied to the council for permission to sell alcohol from its Lobster Hatch takeaway facility which, he said, would “provide an improved and more efficient service for customers”.

Alcohol has been sold to take away before through temporary permissions, but his application sought to make this provision permanent.

However, 44 letters of objection were submitted by people living close by, who said it would exacerbate issues of “alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour”.

As a result, the application was brought before a licensing sub-committee for a decision.

Speaking at the meeting on behalf of many of the objectors, Mudeford, Stanpit and West Highcliffe ward councillor Paul Hilliard reiterated their concerns.

“It will clearly impact adversely on the licensing objectives in all four areas,” he said. “Off-sales will encourage all-day drinking, leading to increased public nuisance to other beach users.

“The premises is located in a residential area which is likely to be disturbed by nuisance and disturbance in the late evening.”

But Mr Hayward said the claims were “doomsday predictions” and said they were part of “ongoing scaremongering” from people living nearby.

“Over the past four years we have sold alcohol to take away consumption with food using temporary event notices,” he said.

“These were assigned at the busiest times of the year, during heatwaves and bank holidays, and we have not received any complaints.”

Dorset Police had not objected to the restaurant’s plans after a series of conditions were agreed with the restaurant management.

This position was backed by the sub-committee which agreed to grant the licence. Its decision has only now become known through the publication of a formal decision notice.

It said there was “no evidence of concerns” raised during any of the periods where off-sales were allowed.

“When considering the representations made by all parties and the conditions agreed with Dorset Police it did not consider that there were sufficient reasons to justify a refusal of the application,” the decision notice says.

“It was satisfied that if operated in accordance with the conditions, the variation to the premises licence should not undermine the licensing objectives.”

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