Troubled Portsmouth bar gets permission to sell alcohol until 3am

Yates's bar in Guildhall Walk
Yates's bar in Guildhall Walk
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A BAR that was shut down following a death of a soldier will now be able to serve alcohol into the early hours of the morning – despite opposition from the police.

Yates’s in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, has been granted a licence to serve alcohol until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, an extension from 1am.

The decision was made by Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday despite opposition from police and health officials.

An officer from Hampshire Constabulary was at the meeting to make a representation against the licence being granted due to fears it could lead to an increase in late-night violence in the area.

PC Matt Moss, from Portsmouth’s violent crime reduction and licensing department, said: ‘In recent years the police, local authorities and the venues have worked hard in partnership to drive down violent crime.

‘We will be continuing to work with Yates’s to ensure that later opening does not contribute to violent crime.’

A member of the council’s public health team spoke against the application.

But sub-committee member Councillor David Fuller said he was pleased with the decision.

Cllr Fuller said: ‘I felt that the applicant made a very strong case with the application to extend the hours.

‘The police, I felt, did not give strong enough statements to justify their position against the applicant’s request for extended hours.’

Another committee member, Cllr Ken Ferrett said he was also pleased with the ruling.

He said: ‘It was a finely-balanced judgement because of the special policy we have for Guildhall Walk.’

Yates’s falls within a ‘special policy area’ agreed by the authorities because of a history of violence in Guildhall Walk and surrounding streets.

The council suspended the venue’s licence in 2010 after the death of Private Matt Brooks, 18.

Brooks, 18, was attacked inside Yates’s and later set upon in a car park nearby.

No-one from Yates’s was available for comment.

Conditions must be met for later opening hours

YATES’S must agree to meet a list of conditions to be allowed to sell alcohol until 3am.

Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee has ruled that a full menu must be on offer until 11pm, and the venue is to shut at 3.30am, half an hour after alcohol sales have stopped.

The 30-minute period between the end of the alcohol sales and the closing of the premises must be maintained even if the premises closes early.

There must be no entry to the venue after 1.30am and signs put up informing customers that re-entry is not allowed.