Food hut on South Parade Pier can now sell alcohol
A FOOD hut on South Parade Pier will now be able to sell wine and beer - despite concerns the pier will become a ‘drinking cathedral’ as a result.
Portsmouth councillors approved an alcohol licence for the Old Pier Hut, in Southsea, which already sells a range of hot food including pizza, chips and gyros as well as soft drinks.
The station can now serve alcohol from 10am until 11pm from Monday to Sunday for people to consume while seated in its dining area.
However, the application proved controversial as it attracted 36 objections from nearby residents citing concerns over noise and anti-social behaviour.
During the virtual licensing meeting yesterday Eastney and Craneswater representative, Councillor Linda Symes, made an objection on behalf of five of those residents.
She said: ‘The pier already has numerous licensing areas on it. When does it end? When does it become proliferation rather than a nice place for families to be?
‘Do we want to keep on eroding that until it becomes a big drinking cathedral?
‘Without standard anti-crime measures there will be fights and anti-social behaviour linked to drinking.
‘And the pier is not well lit. There could be accidents after drinking.’
Cllr Symes requested that as part of the conditions of the licence the hut should stop selling alcohol by 9pm and only sell drinks to people also eating.
During August this year the hut used temporary event notices to serve alcohol at the weekends.
Jon Wallsgrove, who represented the applicant Murat Anik during the meeting, said: ‘People have been consuming alcohol without any concerns being raised.
'He operated a temporary event notice over four weekends in August which are probably the busiest weekends of the year with no objections from anyone.
‘My client is an experienced licence operator in Portsmouth and has worked and operated other restaurants in the area.
‘He will actually only be selling a very small selection of wine and beer, which is decanted into plastic cups. And the beer is very much an ancillary part, the focus is the food.’
In August this year an alcohol licence was granted for the new Beach Bar on the pier.