Tough rules for pubs and clubs in town

PERMISSION to open licensed bars, club and restaurants in Weston town centre may be refused from now on - unless the business owner can prove it would impact positively on the area.

North Somerset Council and Avon and Somerset police, after consultation with other agencies, have adopted a new policy that means that even variations of existing licences may be turned down, unless the premises can show it brings something positive to the table.

The responsibility will now be on the applicant to prove the new outlet would be positive for Weston.

The unitary authority says the reason behind the change in attitude is because it has received evidence that the combined effect of such premises on the town centre is undermining licensing objectives and there is a saturation of such businesses.

The new policy says: “The adoption of a saturation policy for the town centre of Weston does not relieve responsible authorities or interested parties of the need to make a relevant representation.

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“Before the council may lawfully consider giving effect to its saturation policy a relevant representation must have been made.”

The council cannot use the new policy as grounds for revoking an existing licence or certificate when relevant representations are received about problems with those premises.

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The area that the new policy will apply to is bordered by the Grand Pier, Waterloo Street, Carlton Street and Alfred Street.

The change is part of a wider review of licensing policies across North Somerset, which included things like temporary event notices and personal licences.

The saturation policy came into effect on January 7.

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