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Christchurch pub The Railway wins bid to build an outside bar

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A CHRISTCHURCH inn has been given permission to install a bar in its garden despite claims by objectors it was already an "open-air party pub".

The Railway on Stour Road has been granted a licence by BCP Council to replace a former toilet block, enabling it to serve drinks outside until 10.30pm.

Lucy Barker, operations director at Punch Pubs and Co, said: "The Railway is a fantastic pub and an integral part of our portfolio.

25 people had written in support of The Railway's plans (photo: Google)
25 people had written in support of The Railway's plans (photo: Google)

"The publican aims to work with the local community to ensure the planned investment within the pub garden is a success, and looks forward to sharing it with them ahead of the summer season."

BCP Council’s licensing committee unanimously backed granting the pub a licence for the external bar, despite 14 neighbours lodging objections and claiming it was "an open air party pub" and that they had video evidence of patrons fighting outside.

But Ewen McGregor, representing Punch, pointed out 25 people had written in support and argued neighbours would benefit from the changes as there would be a limit of eight customers allowed outside after 10.30pm.

Currently, its licence allows it to sell alcohol and have customers outside up to 1am.

Dorset Police and BCP Council’s environmental health team had not raised objections after mediation with the pub owner.

Committee member Cllr David Kelsey speculated the pub’s bid could better "protect" the residents, and pointed out to neighbours they could call for a review of the pub’s full licence at any time.

In its ruling, the committee ruled: "Sub-committee members agreed that the above conditions would give the premises a greater ability to uphold the licensing objectives insofar as there will be greater staff supervision and presence in the external areas of the premises, as well as more CCTV, with the number of cameras increasing from two to five.

"Sub-committee members also felt assured that the variation of the premises licence would enable stronger enforcement of the licensing objectives."

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