New late night venue wants to open in Hastings

Plans to open a new late night bar in Hastings are set to go before a council licensing panel next week. 
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On Wednesday (June 30), Hastings councillors are set to consider a premises licence  application for a new “music, comedy and arts venue” at 20 Robertson Street, to be known as South Star. 

According to the applicants, the ground floor will be used in the daytime as a coffee and craft ale house, while a basement, which is sound proofed, will be used in the evenings for live music, open mic and comedy up until 3am.

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However, the plans have seen an objection lodged by Sussex Police which has raised concerns over both the conditions and the 3am closing time proposed by the applicants. 

In a letter of objection to be considered by the panel, Inspector Aidan Cornwall of the Sussex Police licensing team, said: “Pre-Covid 19 crime analysis shows that Castle Ward is amongst the very highest wards within East Sussex for both serious violence and knife crime.

“Our analysis demonstrates that the peak times for this offending is between 00:00 and 04:00 during the weekend and that the night time economy and alcohol is a key motivator for the high violence levels within this ward.

“Whilst we fully understand that the saturation policy is currently under review, this area has been within the local authority saturation area for many years due to the sheer number of licensed premises already operating. 

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“If this license were granted then we firmly believe it would increase the levels of crime and disorder within the area. This would not only cause fear within our local population but also burden further unnecessary demand on our emergency services when they are still in the throes of managing a pandemic of unprecedented scales.”

In his letter, Inspector Cornwall goes on to say that police had put forward a number of suggested conditions for the applicant to consider. While most of these conditions were accepted, some were not.

These included a request to reduce the proposed closing times from 3am to 2am, which the applicant declined to do.

Police conditions around door staff were also declined, with the applicant asking for flexibility about how many would be required on certain nights instead. To offset this, the applicant said bar staff would be SIA-trained, but this was not considered acceptable by Sussex Police.

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The application was also considered by the council’s environmental health team. It did not raise objections but requested the panel put additional noise management conditions on to the licence. 

A decision on the application is set to be made following a hearing on Wednesday, June 30.