Newland Avenue bar’s drinking area branded ‘public nuisance’

A Newland Avenue bar’s outdoor drinking area set up due to coronavirus will become a permanent feature after councillors approved the extension of its licence.

Hull City Council’s Licensing Committee granted The Piper’s application to continue serving alcohol in The Courtyard, pitched as a day-time food and drinks offering.

Read more: End of an era as Newland Avenue’s Tofts closes for good

The venue’s lawyer Paul Holland said the “uncontroversial” application simply sought to formalise changes made during the pandemic when licensing rules were relaxed.

But Len Harling, of the Newland Avenue Residents’ Association, said making drinking in the area permanent would lead to “nothing more than public nuisance”.

The Piper's lawyer told councillors the venue had no intention of being 'bad neighbours'
The Piper’s lawyer told councillors the venue had no intention of being ‘bad neighbours’
(Image: Hull Live)

The objector, who lives in nearby Exmouth Street, also claimed the outdoor area’s capacity could rise from 36 to around 100, while Mr Holland denied they sought to increase it.

The committee heard three objections had been made against the application on public nuisance, disorder and noise grounds. But it also heard no objections were received from Humberside Police or council public protection officers.

Councillors heard the venue also wanted to change its staff monitoring regime outside, including its smoking area, from constant monitoring to regular patrols for more flexibility.

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It comes after The Piper’s license was reviewed in 2018 amid fears noise and disturbance there was getting out of hand.

Mr Holland told councillors the review was the “shock” the venue needed, adding its owners had “no desire” to drop their standards.

The lawyer said: “They want to continue in a way that will set the standards for other venues.

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“There will be table service in the outside area, there won’t be customers going inside to get drinks and then back out again.

“There appears to have been some misunderstanding over the outdoor area’s capacity, there will be no attempt to increase it whatsoever.

“My client has no desire whatsoever to be a bad neighbour, they’re keen to support the area and see it improve.

“These are sensible proposals to reflect what’s going on, the world has changed since the pandemic and many venues who never thought they’d have outdoor areas do now.”

Mr Harling said he and other residents feared the venue could have a “problem” managing any disorder in future.

He added that while no authorities objected to the application, residents still suffered from noise at the venue but had “given up” complaining about it.

The objector said: “From our point of view this is a major issue, it is not in the public interest to have a bar in the forecourt which would cause noise and disturb residents.

“At the moment it’s reasonably quiet because the student population will not return until September. But I’m sure bar staff will not be asking people to be quiet when they’re in a state of intoxication.

“I measured noise levels from the outside area before and during a football match on Friday, July 30. There were a number of patrons in for the match which began at 8pm.

The approval of The Piper’s application means The Courtyard is here to stay
(Image: Hull Live)

“After it started noise levels increased drastically, they were in excess of 75dBA.

“The Piper has said that music in the forecourt will only be background music, but that will only lead to raised voices which will be nothing more than a public nuisance on the Avenue.

“There is no other venue on the Avenue which can accommodate such a high volume of drinkers.”

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