DRINKERS in Sowerby Bridge could be served until 3am four days a week if a bar wins its bid to extend its licence tonight.
The Roxy in Wharf Street is already allowed to sell alcohol up to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and until 1.30am the following morning from Thursday to Saturday.
But licensee Lee Nuttall wants to vary it until 1.30am the following morning from Monday to Wednesday, and until 3am from Thursday to Sunday.
He said it would enable him to provide late- night entertainment such as live music for an older clientele – something he feels is lacking in Calderdale.
“It’s not just what Sowerby Bridge is lacking, it’s what the town is lacking as well because that caters for a younger crowd,” he said. More than 300 Roxy customers have signed a petition in favour of the application, and a further eight wrote in support.
“One of the things Sowerby Bridge lacks is a good-quality venue that opens late,” wrote regular customer Mark Croad.
But not everyone welcomes the plans.
The application has been met with nine letters of objection from people who fear it will fuel noise and crime.
An anonymous resident, who lives near the venue, wrote: “The wrong decision here could constitute a retrograde step towards an ugly, boozy, brawling town, strewn everywhere you walk with alcohol-related debris.”
Members of Sowerby Bridge Pubwatch have also objected, claiming the venue serves customers barred under the scheme and breaches its existing licence conditions.
Laura Culpan, chairwoman, wrote: “We would question the need for such extra extension to the hours at The Roxy, particularly in light of the above points, the needs of the residents in the immediate area, and the costs to policing this venue at a time when police budgets are under considerable financial pressure.”
West Yorkshire Police have echoed her fears, stating the move would turn the bar into a nightclub, attracting a different crowd of people – and more crime.
“It would also have a significant effect on police resources, which are already stretched throughout Calderdale.”
Calderdale Council’s environmental health and planning departments have also raised concerns about the impact of noise on neighbouring residents.
Members of the council’s licensing sub committee will make a decision tonight.
l Should it get the go-ahead? Join the debate and email email@example.com