Police do not have resources to cope with three evening establishmenst in St Austell, town chiefs warn
POLICE couldn't cope with the number of revellers a new venue would bring into St Austell at closing time, town councillors have warned.
On Monday the planning committee debated a licence application for an evening entertainment venue, the Independent, in Biddicks Court.
The owners want to open from 9am to 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and from 9.30am to 1.30am for the rest of the week.
Steve Hurst, of St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce, told members he was concerned over the hours, which are half an hour later than The Club and Wetherspoon's.
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Several chamber members were opposed to the application, he said, and the police had previously said they would be unable to cope with the increased number of people loitering in the town centre in the early hours.
Asking councillors to consider restricting the hours of opening, he said: "The town has always supported housing developments in the town centre. The last thing people need is to hear everyone leaving a club at 2.30am."
Jenny Stewart, town councillor for Gover, echoed his concerns about the pressure placed on the police.
"There's no way they can manage three establishments," she said. "We just haven't got the manpower."
Committee chairman Brian Palmer proposed allowing only the same hours as other evening venues and said: "I'm quite disappointed they're setting up as a watering hole rather than a food establishment, which is the primary thing in that location."
Anne Double, town councillor for Mount Charles, said: "I'm pleased we've got something opening up in town – it's another place to go for a nice drink, it might be really nice and we won't get any trouble – but I agree it has to close at the same times as Wetherspoon's and The Club. It doesn't make any sense to make it any later."
Councillor Richard Pears, of Bethel ward, agreed: "If their licence extended later than that you'd have people traipsing up there for one last drink. They'd have to walk through town in, should we say, a slightly inebriated state to get there."
The committee unanimously agreed to recommend the application be approved on condition the opening hours were the same as those at Wetherspoon's.