Police block Newcastle takeaway's bid to extend opening hours
POLICE have won their battle to stop a kebab shop extending its opening hours.
But Newcastle Borough Council will allow Best Kebab to run a late-night delivery service.
Officers lodged objections to the authority after the George Street business submitted proposals to stay open until 3.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and 3am during the rest of the week.
They claimed that if the scheme was given the go-ahead, it could lead to an increase in disorder in an area already blighted by anti-social behaviour.
And yesterday police banned The Sentinel from covering the borough council’s licensing meeting where the kebab shop’s proposals were considered.
A statement from sergeant David Wright, the force’s licensing manager, stated: “The location of the premises is a concern over public nuisance due to the close proximity of local residential dwellings.
“We believe that an increase in the opening hours of the premises will attract complaints of noise and anti-social behaviour from the residents and an increase in crime and disorder from patrons of the nearby town centre.
“The premise licence holder is currently under a criminal investigation in relation to a number of incidents where it is alleged that the venue carried out licensable activity other than in accordance with the premise licence and also beyond the hours permitted on the premise licence.”
However, further representations and additional information from the police were kept secret after both the press and public were barred from the session.
The result of the meeting means the fast food outlet must adhere to its current closing time of midnight, Sunday to Thursday, and 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays. However, the business will be allowed to operate a delivery service from the premises until 2.30am, Sunday to Thursday, and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Conditions of the agreement will mean orders can only be made over the telephone and workers must use the rear entrance to access the delivery vehicle. All lights must also be turned off and shutters pulled down at the standard closing time.
Councillor Trevor Hambleton, a member of the authority’s licensing sub-committee, said: “We have allowed a delivery service as they told us that was the most profitable part of the business and this is a compromise which they seemed happy with.”
Chief Inspector Neil Hulme, Newcastle Borough local policing team commander, said: “Both the police and our partners were concerned that by permitting extended opening hours at this premises, it would prevent the dispersal of people and increase incidents of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the area.”