Newquay takeaway refused 5am closing time due to crime fears
A TAKEAWAY in Newquay has been refused a licence to serve food until 5am after fears were raised it would put pressure on police resources.
Owner Tony Tibon says Central Grill, on Central Square, will struggle to survive the winter with its current 2.45am closing time and claims other fast food outlets have been granted later licences.
Cornwall Council's Licensing Act sub-committee rejected his application on Wednesday, but he vowed to appeal, and told the Cornish Guardian: "We're not selling alcohol or committing any crime; we're just selling food. The burger van outside Bertie's Nightclub is open until 4.30am, Subway is open until 4am, Istanbul Grill is open until 4am, so why can't we? All I'm asking is for everyone to be treated the same way."
Mr Tibon said he paid £30,000 a year in rent and £10,000 in business rates, as well as employing two doormen during the summer for £15 an hour.
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"It costs a lot of money and I can't survive without this [extended opening hours]," he said. "The winter is coming."
The police objected, saying a 5am licence would "impact on crime and disorder" and could mean drafting in officers from Truro to help cover early-morning shifts.
They were backed by Cornwall Council's licensing compliance team, the town council and Cornwall councillor Geoff Brown.
Objectors also pointed out that Central Grill lies in a 'cumulative impact zone', meaning applications for opening hour extensions should, as a rule, be rejected unless the applicant can convincingly argue that public safety would not be compromised.
Superintendent John Green, who oversees policing in east Cornwall, said the longer hours would have presented a significant challenge.
"My 27 years' experience across three forces tells me that if you have a food outlet that stays open after pubs close then people will stay out," he said. "This would, in my view, have had a detrimental effect on the peace and quiet and public safety in the area at that time of the morning.
"It would also have affected the dynamics of policing in east Cornwall, as I'd have had to consider moving staff from Truro to Newquay, and set a precedent not just for the cumulative impact zone in Newquay but also in Truro and Penzance."
The Central Grill had its licence revoked in January 2010 after police discovered an asylum-seeker was working there illegally.
At a review hearing, councillors were also shown CCTV footage of a member of staff dumping unsold chips and sausages in the middle of the road outside the shop.