Stansted: Residents contest new drinking hours

CONCERNS have been raised after owners of a hotel, which is yet to be completed, decided to put in an application in an effort to increase its drinking hours.

A number of residents living near to Linden House in Stansted have pushed their parish council into taking action after Uttlesford District Council received the request at the beginning of June.

But a list of demands has been drawn up by a group of residents to try and curb the hours once more.

Group leader Ray Woodcock said: “Bearing in mind that this establishment is in the middle of a residential area what might be acceptable is – they stick to the business hours as agreed, conduct no outside business, doors and windows be closed at all times and action is taken to prevent customers making noise when leaving the establishment.

“These requirements should minimise public nuisance due to noise and disturbance.”

Residents, planners and councillors are largely behind the project though, as the hotel will make use of a row of derelict and unused buildings on Silver Street, that have become an “eyesore” over recent years.

Currently, planning permission has been granted for a nine-room luxury hotel and drinking hours had been limited to 11pm at the latest. Now the owners want to increase that to midnight on Sunday and 1am on Friday and Saturday.

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Apart from the small section of neighbours support for the hotel and the subsequent application has been strong, with a petition already receiving close to 90 signatures.

The decision will be made by a licensing committee on June 28 but ahead of that decision approaches have been made to the Stansted Parish Council for help.

Cllr Daniel Brett said: “As a resident of Spencer Close who will bear the brunt, I share the concerns expressed by some residents.

“The point of contention is that the opening hours proposed in the licence application go well beyond those set out in the planning application and that late opening with music could lead to a public nuisance.

“While the licensing committee must make sure that they do not impose unreasonable restrictions on business competition, they must also protect the residents from public nuisance and I hope a balance is struck that is favourable to all.

“I am sure that if there is a market for a high-class hotel and restaurant it can thrive as a business without such a broad-ranging late music and drinking licence.”

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