Jack Murphy’s is planning to take over the old Wasabi building. The premises already has a licence for the supply of alcohol until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10:30pm Sunday.
They have asked to extend these hours to midnight Monday to Thursday and 2am Friday to Sunday! They have also asked to add further activities that need licensing: showing films, sporting events, live and recorded music, dancing.
My draft representation is below. If you would like to add your name and address, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to my Facebook page and send me a message there. Please let me know by 10pm Sunday 12th May.
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I wish to register my strong objection to the extension of the licence for the supply of alcohol to the late hours requested, and the addition of further licensable activities.
I have mixed views about the additional licensable activities requested. As explained below, I fear they will increase disturbance, but not as much as the late-night supply of alcohol. I recognise that they are important activities for the viability of this business, but I would prefer to see different activities in these premises. Therefore, while I would prefer to see the additional activities not allowed, in the hope that a business model more focused on food would be encouraged, I certainly object to them being allowed after 23:00 (22:30 on Sundays) – they should only be allowed during the hours of the existing license for supply of alcohol.
The residents of Uplands understand the difference between living near a bar and living near a restaurant, and so did the Council in 1986 when it granted planning permission for this venue to be a “Licensed public bar and restaurant”, but with a vital condition: the bar must only serve the restaurant, must never operate without the restaurant being open, and must never offer music or dancing except to be enjoyed by restaurant customers: “use of the premises as a discotheque is forbidden”. There is a marked difference between the expectations of people who attend a bar, with recorded or live music, dancing etc, compared with those who attend a restaurant; what they come to Uplands for and how they behave here. Another Jack Murphy’s bar, on Wind St, provides a living example of what we can expect if/when this establishment opens in our neighbourhood; other local licensed traders and their security staff are considerably nervous about this arriving in Uplands, as are residents. Having considered all this in the context of the licensing objectives and the comments set out below, which explain why a restaurant is acceptable in this location but yet another bar is not, I am objecting to the additional licensable activities requested as well as strongly objecting to the extension of hours for the supply of alcohol.
My concerns below refer to the licensing objectives:
The Prevention of crime and disorder
Uplands has a good record here, thanks to close collaboration between licensed venues and their security staff, police and the council. A preventative approach in which partners act quickly to stop problems escalating, and to prevent people causing trouble from being able to move on to other venues in the locality, is very effective. But all partners agree that pressure is increasing, creating a cost burden for all concerned. Radio systems, CCTV, staff hours and other resources are needed to keep on top of the escalating demand. The changes in Uplands, including the recent opening of numerous bars, increase this pressure enormously, and partners are trying to meet this challenge, although all are suffering the effects of austerity, with police and the council struggling with budget cuts and licensees suffering uncertain revenues. Residents commonly report, and I have personally witnessed and experienced myself, negative effects of drunken crowds in Uplands, including: violent outbursts on the street; verbal abuse, sexual harassment, smashed windows, broken car wing mirrors and windscreens and other incidents associated with the over-consumption of alcohol. Allowing the consumption of alcohol to extend late into the night is likely to push services to breaking point and see arrests and casualties increase, as residents suffer more crime and disorder.
The above paragraph explains some of the dangers which Uplands residents already experience regularly as a result of the local night-time economy. Furthermore, I have experienced the slip hazard of vomit on the pavement and abandoned bottles at the roadside, left by people drinking on their way out to one of the local bars, or on their way home. My morning school run with my children is often an obstacle course of vomit, broken glass and other drink-related litter, which I fear will increase if yet another bar is permitted and drinking is allowed to go on later into the night.
The prevention of public nuisance
Please note the above two paragraphs which list some of the public nuisances associated with the Uplands night-time economy. Further examples include:
- Drunk people ringing my doorbell and trying to insist on entering my home late at night, having mistaken my house for someone else’s
- Take-away containers thrown into my front and rear gardens
- A neighbour’s cordless doorbell being thrown into my garden
- Noisy crowds making their way home from Uplands bars to their various addresses, notably the Swansea University campus – particularly disturbing during the warmer months when windows are open.
- My children being woken up by drunk people shouting, laughing, swearing and screaming under their bedroom windows late at night.
- Noisy waste glass disposal at unsociable hours. I am aware of one resident who has been driven out of the neighbourhood by this disturbance.
- Taxis coming and going, with people shouting, doors slamming etc, late into the night.
- Discarded paraphernalia associated with recreational drug use
Over the last year or so, significant tree cover has been removed from Beechwood Road and Gwydr Square, very close to the licensed premises in question. At least one large mature tree has completely gone and others have been cut back drastically. This removes the sound insulation that we used to have here; noise from the bars is allowed to travel much further – my household can now hear music from the various venues in our front room, and the disturbance of cars driving around the area in the night, and glass being discarded or smashed in the street, is greater.
The addition of another bar would to be difficult for us to tolerate, increasing the likelihood and the impact of all these nuisances. Restricting the activities and operating hours of this establishment is an important way to reduce the harm done to my family and my community.
The protection of children from harm
Please note the points already mentioned above, and the impacts they can have on children. More specifically, here are some of the harms which my children, and others in Uplands ward, experience regularly because of living close to bars serving alcohol until late:
- Disturbed sleep due to noisy drunk people passing by, or talking loudly under their bedroom windows
- Walking through vomit and broken glass, typically in the morning on the way to school
- Shock and distress at drunken shouting in the street, and drunk people ringing the doorbell and pounding on the door late at night, sometimes shouting obscenities.
I believe that there are 6 homes with children under 16 along Ernald Place and the end stretch of Beechwood Road closest to the venue in question. There are others equally nearby in other directions.
For all the above reasons, my family, and many other local residents, feel considerable sadness and anxiety about the proposed change from restaurant to another venue focused on the supply of alcohol. Planning and licensing powers must allow the authority to prevent this change, and we ask that the activities and the hours of this establishment be maintained as per the current license, thus retaining the existing licensing footprint in this highly residential area.
I have shared the above with working partners and residents in my community, who agree and wish to add their names and comments to this representation, as below.
Names (and addresses) in support of the above comments, with any additional comments:
(Please see top of page if you’d like to add your name)