Exmouth’s new waterfront beach bar and restaurant has been granted a premises licence – but the hours of operation have been cut from those requested.
Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com
Mickey’s Beach Bar & Restaurant, which will be run by celebrity chef Michael Caines, had asked for a premises licence until 2.30am every day, with East Devon District Council’s licensing sub-committee last Wednesday considering the request.
The meeting heard that there were no plans for opening hours to be as late as 2.30am every day but that it gave them the flexibility to do so if required, it would not be operating as a nightclub, and that the venue would be ‘complimentary for Exmouth’.
Objections had poured in against the scheme on the grounds of noise, the hours of operation being too late, and that it could lead to anti-social behaviour.
And while councillors agreed to grant the premises licence, they will only be able to stay open until 1.30am on Thursday to Saturday – and 0.30am on Sunday to Wednesday.
Supply of alcohol, playing of music, and late night refreshments will have to cease at 1am and midnight respectively, an hour earlier than requested.
The permitted hours for use of the two external terraces to the Bar & Restaurant and Café building (one at ground floor and one at first level) will be until midnight only.
Representing Maer Beach Ltd, Gareth Pinwell told the committee that they were making a ‘significant investment into Exmouth and they intend to operate it in a way commensurate with the business’.
Mr Pinwell added: “There has been an agreed solution to the acoustic issues so it will not infringe any of the licensing objectives. The police have raised no objections to the licensing objectives and they are satisfied with the nature of the operation. There is no evidence that the opening hours will offend the objectives and the objections not based on any actual facts
“I respectively suggest that the licensing objectives not offended by the proposal. They have addressed the issues in the representations, the hours of operation are reasonable, and there is no objection from the council or the police. Other issues are anticipatory and there is no direct evidence that the operation will give rise to the anticipated eventualities.”
He added: “Wider antisocial behaviour is already happening, and the risk of public nuisance from our operation will be minimised. If you look at the nature of the application, the way we have dealt with issues, we are a responsible applicant and the requested hours are commensurate with the nature of what it aims to be. This is not intended to be a nightclub at weekends with flashing lights.”
Among the concerns raised by residents were from Daphne Courier, who was concerned at the position of the site on the waterfront, saying that there would be ‘no good publicity for anyone if there was a drowning incident in the area as when people have had a few drinks, they get silly’.
She added: “We have one planet and if we trash this planet, we are harming our children. This will have a massive impact on the environment and local residents. Do we want a watersports venue or a hotspot party venue?”
Cllr Olly Davey added: “The area is dangerous for swimming and this cannot be controlled by the applicant. I think it will attract anti-social behaviour and people will turn up and want to get in and will become a magnet for trouble and there is a strong possibility of noise nuisance to residents.”
Simon Davidson, from the Avenue Residents Association, said: “We know if the only place left in town is this premises, it is where people will gravitate to, having had drinks elsewhere, so there will be pressure on the local environment when they cannot get more drinks,” while Martin Hislop said: “Rarely have there been so many concerns and a consistent and informed theme of the representatives and grave concern over the excessive late night hours concerned, and total disbelief and a real feeling of disappointment of this is not what was promised.”
But while the committee granted the premises licence, hours of operation were cut to 7am to 0.30am on Sunday-Wednesday and until 1.30am on Thursday-Sunday.
Other conditions attached as part of the licence include that sufficient measures must be taken to remove and prevent litter and waste arising or accumulating from customers in the outside event space.
Clear and legible notices shall be also prominently displayed at all exits to the outside event space, warning patrons of the dangers of swimming, and at all times when the outside event space is in operation, portable toilets shall be located in the outside events space and shall be available for use by the public.
Mickey’s Beach Bar and Restaurant will run alongside Sylvain Peltier and Michael’s Café Patisserie Glacerie as part of the Exmouth seafront regeneration project.
The project will incorporate a casual bar complete with resident weekend DJs, first floor destination restaurant with a glasshouse and outdoor terraces alongside neighbouring Café Patisserie Glacerie which will serve artisan pastries and ice-creams.
The opening hours will change with the seasons. Summer will see Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week across each of the various outlets.
During the cooler months, breakfast will be served on weekends only with lunch and dinner available daily throughout the week.