Basement bar in Portsmouth hotel granted licence

A CITY hotel has been granted a licence to open a basement bar, despite concerns from neighbours and the police.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 1:00 pm
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 2:55 pm
The Keppel's Head Hotel, in The Hard, Portsea.

The newly renovated Keppel's Head Hotel in The Hard, in Portsea, can now open the Nut Bar in its basement for private functions.

Speaking at a virtual Portsmouth City Council licensing meeting on Friday, hotel worker Jeanette Warren explained that the bar would be used for events previously held in the upstairs Nelson's Bar.

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Noise concerns if licence for hotel bar granted

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On behalf of the hotel owners Ivan and Tring Lim, she said: ‘We want to use the upstairs bar mainly for quiet purposes and for greeting guests of the hotel as opposed to a private event that comes with live music.

‘Downstairs has been sound proofed. All staff will be full trained. We will operate a challenge 25 policy. We already have working for us an SIA-accredited doorman who would be in attendance if any private events were to go ahead.’

However, police officer Peter Rackham had concerns following a failed test purchase operation which saw a 15-year-old sold alcohol in Nelson's Bar earlier this year. He said: ‘They have said they will be hot on preventing the sale of alcohol to children. They make repeated references to that in their application.

‘That wasn’t the case. The reason that wasn’t the case because, and I quote the words of Mr Lim, he was too busy to be worrying about the sale of alcohol to children. He was more concerned about other matters of the business.

‘To us that seriously raises questions about his ability to operate a premises which promotes the licensing objectives.’

Ms Warren responded: ‘Those measures were not correctly in place and they are now currently functioning and in place.

‘There was a further passed test purchase on 7th March and now all of the training has been put in place.’

A neighbour of the hotel, Nigel Powell, added: ‘There are five bars and we find ourselves in between the Lady Hamilton and the Keppel's Head. On summer evenings there’s quite a lot of activity and noise generated. I don’t think we need any more.’

The licence application was amended to allow the bar to open until 11pm, rather than 2am, and it will hold a maximum of 60 people.

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