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Salon cafe wins drinks licence - but opening hours take a shave

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Guy Kremer Lymington in St Thomas Street
Guy Kremer Lymington in St Thomas Street

A CAFÉ attached to a celebrity hair salon in Lymington has been given a licence to sell alcohol despite concerns it could encourage “drunk and lewd” behaviour.

The Yard Café, within Guy Kremer Lymington at 11 St Thomas Street, can now sell alcohol until 9pm every day, and open until 9.30pm.

The applicant, entrepreneur Stuart Knowles, had requested permission to sell booze until 10pm, but this provoked uproar from 11 locals

At a hearing of the council’s licensing sub-committee, opponents questioned why Mr Knowles wanted a licence into the night and claimed the access to the café – which is through a narrow alleyway alongside the salon – could encourage drug dealing and loitering.

Among those against the move were the Lymington Society and Lymington Town Council. Cllr Peter Allen suggested “inebriated drinkers” and those “dealing substances” could lurk in the alleyway.

But Mr Knowles assured them the eatery would be an “upmarket establishment” that would sell healthy food, coffee and “expensive wine”.

He explained the salon and café were inside the same building but separated by a door, and the café was an independent entity. He also pledged to train staff and “regularly monitor” the alleyway, and said there were no plans to have live music acts there.

In its decision notice, published online, the licensing sub-committee said: “The change in hours will go some way to address the objectors’ concerns regarding public nuisance and late night activity.

“The applicant indicated at the hearing that should the sub-committee consider it appropriate to amend the opening hours in light of the representations before it, that this would be supported.”

Explaining its decision, the panel said it had “listened carefully” to concerns raised by objectors relating to crime, disorder, the alleyway and noise pollution. “However, the sub-committee noted the absence of relevant representations from any of the responsible authorities,” it added.

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